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Nonprofit Group May Resume Indiana County’s Needle Exchange

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Health officials in a central Indiana county are looking for an outside group to resume a needle-exchange program after its government funding was cut off this summer.

The Madison County Health Department’s attempt follows the County Council’s August vote to prohibit county funds or donations from supporting the program that provides intravenous drug users with clean syringes to reduce needle-sharing that spreads hepatitis C and HIV.

County public health coordinator Stephenie Grimes says she believes a nonprofit group will soon take over the needle-exchange program. The (Anderson) Herald Bulletin reports she declined to identify the organization before its board votes on the decision.

The county health department says the program served 536 people during its two years in operation, distributing about 236,000 syringes and properly disposing of some 128,000 needles.

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