Editorial | Needle exchanges

The alarming epidemic of HIV in Southern Indiana tied to intravenous drug abuse underscores the wisdom of Kentucky lawmakers who included an option for sterile needle exchanges in the comprehensive heroin bill they passed this session.

In Indiana, the surge of HIV cases among 80 people linked to tiny Scott County — population 24,000 — has attracted national headlines and caused Gov. Mike Pence, who has opposed needle exchanges, to reverse course.

Kentucky’s heroin bill was signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Steve Beshear and could result in many saved lives if communities take advantage of the option to offer needle exchanges through local health departments.

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