SCOTTSBURG, Ind. (AP) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is preparing to declare a public health emergency in a county that’s at the epicenter of an HIV outbreak tied to intravenous drug use.
Pence didn’t specify whether the executive order he plans to issue will allow a needle-exchange program during a news conference in Scottsburg on Wednesday. He says he opposes exchanges as part of anti-drug policy but is listening to health officials on the best way to stop the epidemic.
Health officials say 72 cases of HIV have been confirmed in southern Indiana. All of the cases have ties to Scott County.
The number of cases is expected to rise. Officials are trying to contact as many as 100 people tied to those with confirmed infections. Seven others are awaiting confirmation.