The Indiana State Department of Health is investigating additional cases of HIV in southeastern Indiana. The cases were identified through testing performed through community outreach in response to an HIV outbreak fueled by injection drug abuse.

State health officials announced today that the number of HIV cases in the outbreak is now 181 (177 confirmed cases and four preliminary positive). The most recent cases involve individuals linked to cases previously identified in the outbreak.

“Every case of HIV that’s diagnosed in the state is troubling, but this disease isn’t the death sentence it once was. It is a chronic disease that can be effectively managed,” said Indiana State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H. “We are encouraged to know that the tools put in place to address the HIV epidemic are working to identify illnesses so we can connect people with treatment and other services that help them live healthier lives.”

State health officials have been working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, local health departments, health care providers and others to contain the spread of HIV in southeastern Indiana. Disease Intervention Specialists continue to interview 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.