Indiana town adopts B.C.’s HIV-treatment model after outbreak (Dr. Julio Montaner)

A small Indiana community where two out of every five residents are considered at high risk of HIV infection is reaching out to B.C. experts for help.

Austin, Ind., is suffering through an unprecedented outbreak of the disease. With a population of 4,200, 10 per cent are currently injecting prescription opioid drugs on a daily basis, said Diane Janowicz, assistant professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

The university, working with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, has asked for help from the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. The intention is for the centre to bring its so-called treatment-as-prevention model of health care to the beleaguered community. Treatment-as-prevention is a collection of antiretroviral treatments that reduce the HIV virus load in blood and vaginal and rectal fluids, to decrease the risk of HIV transmission.

Daisy Xiong reports.

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