In late 2014, health officials belatedly became aware of an HIV outbreak in Scott County, Indiana. With fewer than 24,000 people, this rural county rarely saw a single new case in a year, according to The New York Times. But by the time government agencies tried to stop the transmission of the virus a few months later, some 215 people had tested positive.
The disaster in Scott County was not just a failure of clean needles or even just Indiana’s long-time “abstinence stressed” sexual education. It was a disaster born of a total abdication of Indiana’s public-health responsibility—and it’s the kind of health disaster we could see nationally. Pence is now vice president in an administration that is gutting HIV/AIDS resources and further criminalizing drug use—two paths that will increase HIV prevalence across the country. Meanwhile, the twin crises of deindustrialization and rising opioid usage mean that the conditions for localized HIV epidemics are not unique to Scott County.
Article submitted by, Great Gazoo.