NewsHealth / February 1, 2016

Four New Cases Diagnosed In HIV Outbreak

Four New Cases Diagnosed In HIV Outbreak

Residents walk the streets of Austin, Ind., the town where the HIV outbreak began.

Barbara Brosher

AUSTIN, Ind. -- The Indiana State Department of Health says they’ve diagnosed four new cases of HIV linked to the Scott County outbreak, bringing the total number of people affected to 188.

ISDH says all of the new cases involve people who came into contact with others who are HIV positive. The majority of the cases associated with the outbreak have been linked to intravenous drug use.

“We have made tremendous progress in slowing the spread of HIV infection in Scott County, but we know more people are likely to be diagnosed as testing continues,” Indiana State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams said in a press release. “Stopping risky behaviors is the best defense against HIV, but pre-exposure prophylaxis can also help protect those still battling addiction.”

Pre-exposure prophylaxis involves taking two medications by mouth daily. It can reduce the risk of contracting HIV through sexual contact by 90 percent and through intravenous drug use by more than 70 percent.

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