Southern Indiana County Approves Needle-Exchange Program

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) _ Commissioners have approved a needle-exchange program in a southern Indiana county near the center of an HIV outbreak among intravenous drug users.

The Clark County commissioners approved the program Thursday. The proposal now goes to the Indiana State Department of Health for its approval.

WDRB-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1KDzm6D ) most people speaking at a hearing on the proposal were in favor of it.

Clark County health officer Dr. Kevin Burke says the number of drug overdose deaths in Clark County has risen from 32 in 2013 to 58 last year and more than 60 so far this year.

State health officials have approved needle-exchange programs for adjacent Scott County and central Indiana's Madison County under a state law spurred by a Scott County HIV outbreak that's become the largest in state history.