The Deadly HIV Outbreak In Indiana Linked To Painkiller Abuse And Use Of Infected Needles

By @Guneet_B on
A man walks past a poster at a conceptual art exhibition about HIV/AIDS. Reuters Files
(IN PHOTO) A man walks past a poster at a conceptual art exhibition about HIV/AIDS. Reuters

Research has revealed that the overuse of powerful drug Opana is leading to the outbreak of HIV infections in southeastern Indiana. The health personnel and state government are worried as they face an epidemic threat from prescription drug abuse.

So far, the state has confirmed 26 cases of HIV infections since December 15, most of them restricted to Washington, Scott, Jackson, Clark and Perry countries. A majority of cases has been linked to the overuse of prescribed drugs, which a few have been confirmed to be passed on sexually.

Health officials believe that the drug Opana is far more powerful than narcotic painkiller Oxycontin which is used for the management of moderate pain. On Wednesday, the state health official issued several warnings against the use of shared needles, drug injections, any engagement with the commercial sex workers and unprotected sex as a part of control measures to manage the outbreak of the deadly disease.

"Because prescription drug abuse is at the heart of this outbreak, we are not only working to identify, contact and test indivdiuals who may have been exposed, but also to connect community members to resources for substance abuse treatment and recovery," said Jerome Adams, Indiana state health commissioner, as reported by The Courier-Journal.

Statistics show that every year, around 1,000 people die from an overdose of drug in Kentucky and Indiana each. The study reveals that most of the deceased used to consume prescribed drugs nonmedically. According to the national public health officials, a person dies every 25 minutes in the US today because of drug overdose.

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