Indiana lawmakers OK needle exchange programs for communities with HIV, hepatitis C outbreaks

INDIANAPOLIS — Lawmakers looking to prevent a repeat of an HIV outbreak that has rocked a southern Indiana county sent Republican Gov. Mike Pence a measure Wednesday that would allow communities to implement needle-exchange programs if they can prove they're in the midst of an epidemic tied to intravenous drug use.

Pence, who opposes needle exchanges as part of anti-drug policy, said in a statement Wednesday that he looks forward to signing the legislation into law.

He said his office worked with lawmakers to develop "a legal framework" that would give state health officials the resources and flexibility they need to handle health emergencies.


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