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Scott County, hit by 2015 HIV outbreak, could end needle exchange

(WISH file photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A rural southern Indiana county that was the epicenter of the state’s worst-ever HIV outbreak driven by intravenous drug use is poised to end its needle exchange program despite warnings that doing so could lead to increased disease risk.

Health officials credit Scott County’s program with drastically reducing the spread of infectious diseases since the 2015 outbreak by discouraging needle sharing.

But two of the three county commissioners are now against extending it during a possible vote on Wednesday.

Commissioner Randy Julian says drug abusers have had time to know the risks and it is time for them to take responsibility for their actions.

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