Category

Indiana

Category

In February 2015, an unprecedented HIV outbreak fueled by intravenous drug use hit the small city of Austin, Indiana. Under pressure, then-Gov. Mike Pence reluctantly allowed a syringe exchange. Five years later, HIV is undetectable in most of the outbreak patients. Still, the lessons haven’t been learned nationwide. Fewer than a third of the 220 counties deemed by the federal government as vulnerable to similar outbreaks have active syringe-exchange programs.

Indiana was ground zero for shifting ideas about needle exchanges after a small town had an HIV outbreak in 2015 brought on by needle-sharing. But even as other parts of the country start to embrace needle exchanges amid the ongoing opioid epidemic, the sites remain controversial in Indiana. Only nine of the state’s 92 counties have them, after a series of closures and reopenings.

President Donald Trump has ordered that legal immigrants obtain health insurance within 30 days of arriving or prove they can pay for any possible medical need ― another policy certain to be challenged in court. Meanwhile, health issues continue to play a major role in campaign 2020. This week, Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Julie Appleby of Kaiser Health News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.