Indiana county hit by HIV outbreak scrapping needle exchange

Indiana

SCOTTSBURG, Ind. (AP) — Health leaders are decrying the vote to end a southern Indiana’s needle exchange program that was started to stem the state’s worst-ever HIV outbreak driven by intravenous drug abuse.

Dozens of program supporters packed a meeting where the Scott County commissioners voted 2-1 Wednesday evening to end the exchange by the end of this year.

Scott County’s needle exchange began in 2015 as an HIV outbreak centered there eventually grew to about 235 people.

But County Commissioner Mike Jones said the program could be contributing to drug abuse, citing 74 overdose deaths in the county since 2017.

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