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26 confirmed cases of HIV in southeastern Indiana: Health officials

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INDIANAPOLIS — State health officials say a fast-spreading outbreak of HIV cases has hit southeastern Indiana and is tied largely to drug abuse involving a powerful painkiller.

The State Department of Health said Wednesday that 26 people have tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS since mid-December and another four have preliminary HIV-positive status.

Health Commissioner Jerome Adams says most of the cases are linked to people injecting the prescription painkiller Opana, while a small number are tied to sexual transmission of the HIV virus.

Adams says disease specialists are interviewing those infected about their needle-sharing habits and sexual partners. Health officials also are working “to identify, contact and test individuals who may have been exposed.”

He’s urging southeastern Indiana residents who’ve engaged in needle-sharing and unprotected sex to get tested.

 

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