Site search delays Indiana county’s needle-exchange program

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana county has yet to start its needle-exchange program for intravenous drug users more than six months after local and state officials gave their approval.

The Tippecanoe County Health Department has been trying to find a location for distributing the clean needles in an effort to curb the spread of diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV.

Lafayette’s mayor has opposed basing the exchange in a residential neighborhood since county commissioners voted in November to start the program.

County nursing supervisor Khala Hochstedler tells the Journal & Courier that a June 28 public meeting will include an update on the location, along with information about health testing and treatment options that will be offered.

Eight of Indiana’s 92 counties are now offering needle-exchange programs.