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Indiana Heroin HIV Outbreak

Scott County, which is located in Indiana, has experienced a huge increase in the number of HIV cases. According to health officials, 142 HIV cases have been confirmed in Scott County this year. All of these HIV cases have been linked to intravenous drug use. Only three HIV cases were confirmed between 2009 and 2013.

Indiana’s state health commissioner stated that the county sees new cases every day. He also stated that he is hoping that the booming HIV rates in Indiana will show health officials in other states the importance of monitoring HIV cases.

HIV Cases in Indiana Continue to Increase

The chief medical consultant for the Indiana State Department Of Health has stated that 80 percent of the people diagnosed with HIV reported using injectable drugs. Many of the people also reported that they reused needles for several months and then shared them with other people.

It is estimated that the state of Indiana itself has about 500 HIV cases. However, Scott County is getting close to that number all by itself. Indiana has also experienced a huge increase in the number of Heroin users. Not only are there more HIV cases in Indiana, but there are also more Hepatitis C cases. According to the Center for Disease Control, the number of Hepatitis cases increased by 150 percent from 2010 to 2013.

Efforts Underway to Prevent Spread of HIV

HIV is typically transmitted via needle use or unprotected sex. Hepatitis C is also transmitted via needle sharing. Indiana has already spent over two million dollars trying to fight the HIV epidemic. The state has also implemented a limited needle exchange program in order to fight the HIV epidemic. Many lawmakers are proposing expanding the limited needle exchange program to other counties, but this is something that has to be approved by the state.

Many local officials have stated that they support the needle exchange program.  The program is needed because of the rampant \heroin use in this state. They believe that if this program is not implemented, the HIV and Hepatitis cases will likely continue to spread. Once HIV and Hepatitis cases have spread, they are hard to stop. These diseases are also likely to spread to other parts of the country.

Scott County is very close to Louisville, Kentucky. It is also close to Southern, Ohio. That is why HIV and Hepatitis is likely to spread to those parts if people do not get it under control in Scott County.

The Center for Disease Control had been monitoring Indiana closely. They are hoping that they can find a way to prevent HIV and Hepatitis from spreading before it becomes a state-wide problem in Indiana.

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