Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CFE) recently partnered to address the HIV epidemic taking place in Scott County, Indiana.
The county has approximately 4,200 people in its population, of which an estimated 10 percent uses the prescription opioid injections that are causing the HIV epidemic. There have been 184 new HIV infections diagnosed in the county since Jan. 1, 2015.
The new partners hope to use the BC-CfE HIV Treatment as Prevention approach and develop technologies and strategies that will be useful in the rural U.S. These same approaches for tracking, investigating and controlling HIV’s spread have been successful in British Columbia.
"We are embarking on this project with a sense of optimism and hope, bolstered by the NIH support, the accomplishments of the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and our expertise in delivering HIV care in resource-constrained settings," Kara Wools-Kaloustian, associate professor of medicine and director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the IU School of Medicine, said. "We have a chance to reverse the course of this HIV epidemic by implementing fast-acting and effective evidence-based strategies. Using innovations in science and technology, as well as targeted and compassionate approaches to reach those affected by this outbreak, this has the potential to decrease HIV transmission and help save lives within the state of Indiana.”