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5. Indiana HIV Outbreak Linked to Opioid Injection

In January the Indiana State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began investigating an outbreak of HIV in rural Scott County, near the Kentucky border. The CDC issued an official health advisory in April, and CDC and Indiana investigators published a report in the May 1 edition of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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NHPC 2015: U.S. Syringe Funding Ban Impedes HIV and Hepatitis C Prevention

Providing sterile syringes is a proven effective method for preventing HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections among people who inject drugs, yet the U.S. government continues to prohibit use of federal funds for this purpose, presenters said at the 2015 National HIV Prevention Conference (NHPC) last week in Atlanta. A federal budget bill now under consideration could lift the funding ban on syringe exchange programs.

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IAS 2015: Peer-Led Intervention Lowers HIV Infections Among Drug Injectors in Ukraine

A cluster-randomized trial in Ukraine has shown that a peer education project reduced new HIV infections in people who inject drugs by 41%, researchers reported at the recent 8th Eighth International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Vancouver.

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IDWeek 2015: Emergency Needle Exchange Reduces HIV and HCV Risk in Indiana

An emergency syringe exchange program implemented after an outbreak of HIV earlier this year in Indiana led to a decrease in risk behaviors including needle sharing over its first 5 months, researchers reported at IDWeek 2015 last week in San Diego. These findings add to the evidence that needle exchange is an effective harm reduction intervention for people who inject drugs.

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Needle Exchange May Have Prevented More Than 100 New HIV Infections in D.C.

A federal policy change allowing funding of syringe exchange programs in Washington, DC, averted 120 new HIV infections relative to the number that likely would have occurred had the funding ban remained in place, saving approximately $44 million, according to a mathematical modeling study published in the September 4 edition of AIDS and Behavior. "Our study adds to the evidence that needle exchange programs not only work but are cost-effective investments in the battle against HIV," said lead author Monica Ruiz.

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