Indiana To Declare Public Health Emergency Over HIV Outbreak

Indiana is set to declare a public health emergency due to an outbreak of HIV, according to Chicago Tribune. Gov. Mike Pence (R) announced plans to issue an executive order outlining a range of state actions.

Health officials have reported 72 cases of HIV in Scott County in southern Indiana and seven other people have preliminary positive HIV infections. Intravenous drug use (needles) is to blame.

Pense made his way to Scottsburg to meet with local officials.

“This is a public health emergency and I’m listening to my health department, I’m listening to the Centers for Disease Control and I’ll make my decision based on the best science and the best way we can stop this virus and stop this outbreak in its tracks,” he said, according to Fox News.

The number HIV cases is expected to rise as officials are trying to contact as many as 100 people tied those who have been infected, according to Fox News.

Pense is working with officials to launch a clean needle program. The program would offer safe fresh needles and safe places to dispose of dirty needles, according to NBC News.

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