The governor of Indiana has declared a public health emergency after an HIV outbreak “reached epidemic proportions” in part of the state.
Scott County, a poor area where needle-sharing by drug users is common, has seen 79 new cases in recent weeks – up from an annual average of five.
Governor Mike Pence has authorised health officials to implement a needle exchange programme – a remedy he has opposed in the past.
HIV is the virus that causes Aids.
“Scott County is facing an epidemic of HIV, but this is not a Scott County problem; this is an Indiana problem,” the governor said.
“With additional state resources and new tools provided by this emergency declaration, I am confident that together we will stop this HIV outbreak in its tracks.”
The outbreak was first identified in late January. Since then, officials have diagnosed 79 people with the life-threatening virus – up…
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