NewsHealth / September 24, 2019

Report Highlights Scott County Success Fighting HIV Epidemic

Article origination IPBS-RJC
FILE PHOTO: Jake Harper/Side Effects Public Media

FILE PHOTO: Jake Harper/Side Effects Public Media

A new national report examines possible ways to end the HIV epidemic and includes one Indiana County.

In 2015, Scott County experienced an HIV outbreak fueled by the injection of opioids. Since then the county has been able to reduce the number of new cases.

The Bipartisan Policy Center put out the Ending HIV in America report. Chief Medical Advisor Anand Parekh says Scott County achieved this through a coordinated response.

"Offering routine testing, running a needle exchange program, prescribing medicines for the prevention of HIV and working with primary care providers," says Parekh.

Indiana's expansion of Medicaid was also highlighted as a policy that helped address the outbreak.

Parekh says Scott County was also able address social barriers.

"If you ultimately want the best outcomes for a person with HIV it's more than just medicine, it's really tackling some of these social determinants," Parekh says.

Scott County providers have been able to help Hoosiers connect with transportation and housing.

More than 12,500 people in Indiana are living with HIV.

Contact Jill at jsheridan@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @JillASheridan.

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