HIV Outbreak Slows, State Still Vigilant With Prevention Programs

Dec 2, 2015

The Indiana Department of Health says it’s in recovery mode when it comes to addressing the HIV outbreak in Scott County.

The number of new HIV cases has slowed in Scott County, but Indiana health officials say they will continue outreach efforts.
Credit NIAID / https://www.flickr.com/photos/niaid/

Health officials talked about the next steps in addressing the outbreak during a panel discussion Tuesday at Indiana University.

The state and the Centers for Disease Control just finished re-testing more than 500 at-risk people for HIV. Only three of those tests came back positive.

Scott County Public Health Nurse Brittany Combs says that’s encouraging.  

"That means the things we have in place are working and they're not spreading the disease anymore, which is fantastic," she says. 

But Deputy Commissioner of the State Health Department Jennifer Walthall says the work in Scott County is far from over. 

While the infection rate has slowed, she says the state is continuing the outreach programs it put in place earlier this year. 

"We're testing in high-risk areas," Walthall says.  "We're connecting people to syringe exchange if that's appropriate to them. We're connecting people to pre-exposure medications."

More than 180 people have contracted HIV since the outbreak was discovered in December last year.