In a follow-up to a report yesterday, the HIV outbreak announced by State health officials earlier this week continues to grow, now reaching 27 confirmed cases and 10 preliminary HIV positive cases, the Indiana State Department of Health reported today.
All cases are linked to injection drug abuse of the prescription drug, opana, with some individuals also reporting sexual intercourse as a possible mode of transmission. Opana is a powerful opioid painkiller containing oxymorphone. State and local health officials are following up on known contacts in Scott, Clark, Jackson, Perry and Washington counties.
“This is a complex and fast moving outbreak that requires a comprehensive response,” said Deputy State Health Commissioner Jennifer Walthall, M.D., M.P.H. “There are many moving parts to address, including addiction, barriers to care such as lack of transportation and homelessness, as well as prostitution and the close proximity to interstate 65. We are exploring every possible response mechanism and are working closely with local health officials and others to get people the treatment and care they need and to stop the spread of HIV in the area.”
Disease intervention specialists are in the area interviewing each newly identified HIV positive individual to obtain information about needle sharing and sex partners, as well as recommending care coordination services, medical care and HIV prevention information.