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Drug Use

Louisville needle swap aims to stop repeat of nearby HIV, hepatitis C outbreaks

Louisville needle swap aims to stop repeat of nearby HIV, hepatitis C outbreaks

A trio of deadly afflictions is ripping through a rural county in southern Indiana. More than 130 patients in Scott County, Ind., tested positive for HIV in less than a year, making the community of about 24,000 people the site of one of the worst outbreaks in decades. Among the infected are 114 who also tested positive for another blood-borne disease — hepatitis C, which attacks the liver. Most of the HIV and hepatitis C patients share another sickness — the root of the HIV epidemic and a driving factor in the proliferation of hepatitis all along the Appalachian Mountains. They are also addicted to opiates. Needle-sharing among addicts is the No. 1 risk factor in...

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