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HIV Crisis in Indiana
Health officials in Indiana are claiming the state is in the midst of an HIV crisis, with upwards of 55 reported cases.
Recently, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence declared the outbreak a public health emergency, the worst in state history, authorizing a short-term needle exchange program. The announcement came as a surprise: Rates of new HIV transmission have been declining in Indiana for years, from 463 reported in 2002 to 205 in 2012.
It is the largest outbreak the state has ever seen, and officials are saying it will likely get worse. Drug users sharing needles is said to be one of the common reasons it is spreading, as well as unprotected sex.
Rep. Ed Clare, R-Ind., has said the state might instigate a needle exchange to dampen the crisis. HIV testers are also being sent to concerning areas.