Mike Pence Declares Emergency as HIV Epidemic Rocks Indiana

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence declared a public health emergency in one county on Thursday in response to an HIV epidemic linked to intravenous drug use in the southeastern part of the state.
The Indiana State Department of Health has confirmed 79 people have tested positive for the virus, with all cases originating from Scott County.
The county normally sees fewer than five new HIV cases in one year.
Pence said the sharing of needles to inject the prescription opioid, known as Opana, has caused the outbreak, which he called “100 percent” linked to drug abuse.
Needle exchange programs are illegal in the state, but the Republican governor’s order gives health, safety, law enforcement and local officials latitude to implement a short-term program to control the epidemic.
The state legislature is debating a similar measure.