Health

A Southern Indiana county that sought state approval in December for a needle exchange is still trying to satisfy the state’s requests for information.

Clark County Health Commissioner Kevin Burke asked the State Department of Health on Dec. 15 to approve a plan to provide clean syringes to intravenous drug users to help combat the county’s HIV epidemic.

The News and Tribune reports state officials asked Burke to solidify the county’s contracts with its partners who would help fund and staff that program.

Burke said officials also asked him to reword his official county HIV epidemic declaration to better conform to statutory requirements and language.

State Department of Health spokeswoman Jennifer O’Malley said the agency is still awaiting the additional information it requested from Clark County.

Rick Stephenson, a Clark County Commissioner, told the News and Tribune he believes the exchange planning is working.

“I think that obviously with the epidemic that’s going on in Scott County and with that being neighboring, and also with the residual effects of being so close to Louisville, that it’s imperative that we initiate this this just so we can curtail any of the spreading of the drugs and disease,” he said.