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Needle exchange program begins in Allen County

Posted at 9:04 AM, Oct 06, 2016

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. -- The Indiana State Department of Health has declared a public health emergency in Allen County, Indiana, leading the way for the county to undergo a needle exchange program to fight hepatitis C.

“Allen County is experiencing an increase in hepatitis C cases, which puts the county at risk for other diseases spread through intravenous drug use,” said State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams. “By implementing a syringe exchange in conjunction with testing, referrals to treatment and enrollment in health insurance, Allen County is taking steps to reduce the harm caused by substance abuse and improve the health of its communities.”

Health emergencies have previously been declared in Clark, Lawrence, Madison, Monroe, Fayette, Wayneand Scottcounties.

PREVIOUS | Indiana begins needle exchange in Scott County | Gov. Pence declares public health emergency over HIV outbreak | HIV emergency declaration extended in Scott Co.  | Madison County needle exchange begins  | Monroe County to establish needle exchange program  | Fayette County asks state to allow needle exchange program

The declaration of public health emergency will run through Oct. 5, 2017.

Senate Enrolled Act 461 made syringe exchange programs legal in Indiana for the first time.

According to the Indiana State Department of Health, hepatitis is spread through direct contact with human blood.

For more information on hepatitis C, click here.

No state funding is used to support syringe exchange programs.