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Prescription drug abuse to blame for HIV outbreak in Indiana

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Officials in Indiana are dealing with up to 37 new cases of HIV this year, most of which are tied to a users who said they were injecting prescription opiods.

“It’s very concerning to me that most of the individuals who have tested HIV positive have only recently contracted the virus,” said State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams in a statement. “Because prescription drug abuse is at the heart of this outbreak, we are not only working to identify, contact and test individuals who may have been exposed, but also to connect community members to resources for substance abuse treatment and recovery.”

The individuals were injecting Opana, a prescription painkiller that is more potent than OxyContin. HIV can spread when people - including someone with the virus - share needles.

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