Indiana health officials reported Tuesday that the number of HIV cases in the southeastern Indiana outbreak has reached 149 (146 confirmed and 3 preliminary positive cases).
The extension on the executive order from Gov Mike Pence, which allowed a needle exchange program in Scott County will expire May 24.
Currently, 233 participants and community members have brought used syringes in to the Community Outreach Center.
In addition, the HIV public awareness campaign, You Are Not Alone, is now being expanded to include messages aimed at reaching travelers and truck drivers along Interstate-65 between Louisville and Indianapolis. The messages encourage drivers to know their HIV status and to protect themselves by avoiding risky sexual behavior.
“While we know the majority of cases in the current HIV outbreak have been spread through intravenous drug use, we also know that HIV can easily be spread through sexual contact,” said State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H. “We have evidence that over-the-road truck drivers are particularly susceptible to HIV-infected persons. When you factor in that Interstate-65 passes right through the epicenter of the current outbreak, the risk is even greater. We are concerned about the health and safety of all travelers, including truck drivers, as well as the spread of HIV. Our hope is to continue to raise awareness about HIV prevention through these targeted messages.”