In a follow-up to the ongoing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) outbreak in southeastern Indiana, the needle exchange program in Scott County began Saturday in an effort to curb the outbreak in Scott County.

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

Governor Mike Pence authorized the measure as part of a comprehensive emergency executive order last week, which temporarily suspends the Indiana Code on needle exchange within Scott County.

The latest numbers from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) show the case count has increased to 89.

In addition, the ISDH, in conjunction with local and state partners have opened a One-Stop Shop in Scott County.

The One-Stop Shop provides free HIV testing, vaccinations against Tetanus, Hepatitis A and B, and information about HIV prevention, treatment and resources. Substance abuse help is available at the center by Lifespring Health Systems. Individuals can also get assistance in enrolling in Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP 2.0) insurance. All services are free.

The center is located at the Community Outreach Center, 2277 W. Frontage Road, Austin, IN. It’s open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and Noon until 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.

“As State Health Commissioner and a physician, it is my hope that Scott County residents who need these services will take advantage of them and get the help they need and want,” said State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H.