Clark becomes 9th Indiana county to start needle exchange

(WISH Photo)

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana county plans to start in January a needle-exchange program aimed at curbing the spread of hepatitis C and HIV after struggling for months to find funding.

The Clark County program will begin Jan. 26 at a Jeffersonville site that will be open each Thursday. County health officer Dr. Kevin Burke tells the News and Tribune he hopes to eventually have the exchange available two days a week and at other locations.

Indiana’s health commissioner gave permission in August for Clark County’s exchange following a 2015 HIV outbreak linked to intravenous drug use in neighboring Scott County. Clark County didn’t have enough money for the program until receiving a $7,000 grant in October.

Nine of Indiana’s 92 counties have been approved for needle-exchange programs.

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