Clark County seeking funding for needle exchange program

Needles

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana county that’s preparing to launch a needle-exchange to curb the spread of hepatitis C and HIV is still looking for funding.

Clark County Health Commissioner Dr. Kevin Burke says the Ohio River county has received $7,000 from the Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis for purchasing supplies.

But he tells The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky it needs more than twice that to run the exchange for at least six months.

Indiana’s health commissioner declared a public health emergency in Clark County in August, giving the county permission to operate a needle exchange following an HIV outbreak linked to intravenous drug use in adjacent Scott County.

Needle exchanges provide clean syringes to intravenous drug users to prevent needle-sharing that spreads hepatitis C, HIV and other diseases.