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Indiana Governor Extends Scott County Needle-Exchange Program to Curb HIV

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INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has extended a needle-exchange program in a southern Indiana county to help combat an HIV outbreak.

Pence on Monday approved a 30-day extension of a March 26 executive order declaring a public health emergency in Scott County, about 30 miles north of Louisville, Kentucky.

State health officials said there are more than 130 confirmed and preliminary HIV cases tied to the county. Officials say the cases are linked to intravenous drug use.

Scott County typically sees about five HIV cases each year.

Health officials expect the number of cases to rise as more people are tested.

Pence opposes needle exchanges as part of anti-drug policy but allowed the Scott County program under his executive order. He said Monday that efforts to fight the outbreak must continue.

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