An outbreak of HIV has infected atleast 79 people. The state officials expect the number to increase.
Intravenous optiate drug use is linked with all the cases.
The first case was diagnosed in rural Scott County and since then it has been identified in five other countries.
Pence said, “Scott County is facing an epidemic of HIV, but this is not a Scott County problem; this is an Indiana problem, the people of Scott County are working hard to address this crisis, and with additional state resources and new tools provided by this emergency declaration, I am confident that together we will stop this HIV outbreak in its tracks.”
Pence also said that he would not extend the needle exchange program if the outbreak gets worse.
A bill has been signed by Gov. Steve Beshear, of neighboring Kentucky that would improve drug treatment program in the state and allow local health departments to set up needle exchanges.
According to the Centers for Disease Control there are 1.2 million people in the U.S. with HIV.