- Seventy nine cases of HIV have been confirmed in Scott County, Indiana
- All cases are linked to intravenous drug use
Gov. Mike Pence issued the order Thursday for Scott County, which has 79 confirmed cases of HIV since mid-December.
The county averages about five new cases a year.
"Scott County is facing an epidemic of HIV, but this is not a Scott County problem; this is an Indiana problem," Pence said in a news release.
All the cases in the current outbreak are linked to injection drug use, primarily of the prescription opioid opana.
The declaration requires law enforcement, emergency agencies and health officials to develop a response plan that also includes hospitals and health care providers.
A team from the CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention
arrived Monday and is working with local and state health officials to stop the outbreak.
Their recommendations include a short-term needle exchange program and public awareness campaign focusing on safe sex, needle disposal, addiction services, and HIV testing and treatment.
can take up to three months to appear in a person's system after they are infected. Health officials recommend people who have participated in risky behavior, such as needle sharing and unprotected sex, to be tested for HIV now and again in three months.
"I am confident that together we will stop this HIV outbreak in its tracks," Pence said.