I’ve become an avid researcher of this field from and became interested from reading comments from a posting by Flavio Maluf. A recent HIV outbreak in southeastern Indiana has now affected over 100 individuals. These people are testing positive for the HIV virus, due to a recent rise in the use and sharing of infected intravenous needles.
Unfortunately, drug users still fear arrest for taking part in needle exchange programs that would provide them with clean needles that would prevent the spread of disease. On Friday, officials stated that they are trying to spread the message that these people should feel free to use these programs and will not be arrested.
There were 11 positive cases before that were linked to this recent outbreak, as well as 95 new confirmed cases. This outbreak is the result of injections of opioid drugs, and it is the largest HIV outbreak ever to hit the state of Indiana.
Officials have said that all of the people infected are tied somehow to Scott County, a rural county that is struggling economically. On March 26, the governor of Indiana, Mike Pence, declared this situation to be a public health emergency. As such, the ban on needle exchange programs is temporarily waived. In Austin, another city that is heavily involved in the outbreak, a needle exchange program was started this past Saturday. However, by the end of the weekend, there were only four people who had joined; they turned in 300 used needles and were given 168 clean ones in exchange.