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County Receives $5,000 Grant For HIV Prevention
Updated May 25, 2017 3:50 AM | Filed under: Health
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(BEDFORD) - A $5,000 grant from the Center for HIV Prevention will help fund Lawrence County's needle exchange program.

The Lawrence County Council voted Tuesday night to accept the grant.

According to Lawrence County Public Health Nurse Sherry Lawson $3,000 of the grant would go to Chris Abert, project director for Indiana Recovery Alliance, a Bloomington-based nonprofit that runs needles exchange programs in Monroe and Lawrence counties. The other $2,000 would be put toward supplies.

Lawrence County received approval for its needle exchange program in 2016 after the officials reported cases of hepatitis C increased sharply. Hepatitis C is a chronic infectious disease linked to intravenous drug use. It opened in December where the IRA van parks behind the Lawrence County Health Department building at 2419 Mitchell Road, on Tuesdays from 5-7 p.m.

Lawson says 99 citizens have visited the van Dec. 13 and officials hope to extend the program for those who cannot visit the van on Tuesday nights.

Participants receive clean needles, participants have access to HIV and hepatitis C testing, prevention supplies for sexually transmitted infections, and toiletries and feminine products. They are also referred to treatment and rehab programs.

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