Indiana’s health commissioner has declared a public health emergency in Southern Indiana’s Clark County that allows local officials to start a needle exchange to curb the spread of hepatitis C and HIV.
Commissioner Dr. Jerome Adams declared the emergency Monday, making the county the sixth in Indiana to win permission for a needle-exchange following an HIV outbreak in Southern Indiana linked to intravenous drug use. The five others are Fayette, Madison, Monroe, Scott and Wayne counties.
Clark County spent eight months trying to work out problems with its initial needle-exchange application. The county submitted a second application after ending talks with the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation to pay for the program.
County health Commissioner Kevin Burke said state health officials didn’t support how that foundation would have funded the program.