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State Health Department: HIV Outbreak Is In Recovery Mode

HIV Panel

The State Department of Health says it’s in recovery mode when it comes to addressing the HIV outbreak in Scott County. Health officials talked about the next steps in addressing the outbreak Tuesday during a panel discussion at Indiana University.

The ISDH and Centers for Disease Control just finished retesting 181 at-risk people for HIV. Only three of those tests came back positive.

"That means the things we have in place are working and they’re not spreading the disease anymore, which is fantastic," says Scott County Public Health Nurse Brittany Combs.

But Deputy Commissioner of the State Health Department Jennifer Walthall says the state’s work in Scott County is far from over.

While the infection rate has slowed, the state is continuing its outreach.

"We’re testing in high-risk areas, we’re connecting people to syringe exchange if that’s appropriate to them, we’re connecting people to pre-exposure medications," Walthall says.

184 people have contracted HIV since the outbreak started last year.

Previous information from the ISDH said the department retested more than 500 people for HIV. While that many at-risk individuals were identified, the department only retested 181.

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