Needle Exchange Programs Could End Summer 2021

Feb 11, 2020
Steve Burns / WFIU/WTIU News

  Needle exchange programs in Indiana could be discontinued as early as summer 2021.

This comes as Bill 207 died on the floor Tuesday. The bill proposed lifting the expiration date on a 2015 initiative which allowed local health departments to run needle exchange programs.

Senator Jim Merritt authored Bill 207. He says that even though the bill terminating the expiration date of needle exchange programs died, he hopes to find another way to extend those services.

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  The Allen County Department of Health will partner with Walgreens to offer free HIV testing Thursday as part of National HIV Testing Day. 



Courtesy / Abraham Schwab

A lot has been made recently of the HIV cases in southeastern Indiana. Governor Mike Pence responded to the crisis by allowing the use of a needle exchange program in that part of Indiana. He then extended the needle exchange program because it appeared to be working.

Number of HIV Cases in Scott County Grows to 153

May 13, 2015
Courtesy / State of Indiana

Scott County is the epicenter of an ongoing HIV outbreak. Health officials have tracked down 153 new HIV cases just since December, the majority of which have been caused by injection drug use.

To combat the outbreak, Gov. Mike Pence authorized a temporary needle exchange in the county. Scott County officials are taking steps to legalize the exchange long-term.

Under new legislation passed just a couple weeks ago, any county in the state can go through a formal process to legalize exchanges. And Scott County has already gotten the ball rolling.

Remembering Kokomo's Ryan White 25 Years On

Apr 8, 2015
Courtesy /

Wednesday marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Kokomo teenager Ryan White. After contracting HIV five years earlier via a blood transfusion, the 18-year-old died in Indianapolis.

In the 1980s, HIV was still a relatively new disease to most people. Those who contracted it were often highly stigmatized, in part because of the disease’s association with gay men.