The Indiana State Department of Health in an update today reports that the number of cases in the HIV outbreak to be at 155 (154 confirmed and one preliminary positive).

Scott County, Indiana Image/David Benbennick
Scott County, Indiana
Image/David Benbennick

In addition to HIV testing, HIV care coordination, needle exchange and vaccinations against tetanus, Hepatitis A and B, health officials report that addiction treatment services are just one of the many important tools being used in the comprehensive response to the Southeastern Indiana HIV Outbreak.

Early in the outbreak, officials linked the bulk of the cases are linked through injection drug abuse of the prescription drug, opana, a powerful opioid painkiller containing oxymorphone that is more potent than Oxycontin.

“The availability of substance abuse treatment is critical to stopping the spread of HIV and helping people get their lives back on track in Southeastern Indiana,” said State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H. “Each person has to decide on his or her own to seek treatment, but it’s our job to ensure that services are available when they are ready.”

We know that treatment works, but it’s important to stress that treatment doesn’t have to look the same from everyone,” said Beth Keeney, Vice President of Development & Grants with LifeSpring Health Systems. “We’ve heard repeatedly that people are nervous about inpatient treatment, which isn’t the only option. If anyone is even thinking about treatment, we’d like to encourage them to call us, meet us and discuss what program would be the best fit for them.”

LifeSpring Mental Health Services is the State-designated Community Mental Health Center for Scott County. LifeSpring provides mental health services in southern Indiana, including education, prevention, information, assessment, intervention, and treatment.