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Larissa Doucette

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an official health advisory alerting health care providers to an outbreak of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C (HCV) among persons who inject drugs in a rural portion of Indiana. An ongoing investigation by the Indiana State Department of Health with assistance from CDC has identified 135 individuals with newly diagnosed HIV infections in a community of 4,200 people; 84% of these were also infected with HCV. Of those interviewed during the investigation, 96% of the infected individuals injected dissolved tablets of a prescription opioid (Opana® ER) using shared drug preparation and injection equipment. “Urgent action is needed to prevent further HIV and HCV transmission in this area and to investigate and control any similar outbreaks in other communities,” CDC states in the report. Additional details, including recommendations for health departments and health care providers, are available in the CDC Health Advisory.