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Two dozen new cases in Indiana HIV outbreak

AUSTIN, Ind. -- Indiana health officials say there are two dozen new HIV cases in southeastern Indiana, bringing the outbreak's total cases to 130.

The Indiana State Department of Health said Friday there are now 120 confirmed HIV cases and 10 preliminary positive cases. That's up from 106 last week.

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Those infected either live in Scott County or have ties to the area. The outbreak among intravenous drug users is centered in the city of Austin.

The sharing of dirty needles among users addicted to opiate painkillers is feeding the outbreak of the AIDS virus. "All it takes is one person who is HIV positive, sharing needles," local physician Dr. William Cooke told CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds. "It spreads like wildfire in situations like that."

State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams called the new numbers a "significant increase." Previously, Scott County saw only about five new HIV cases a year.

Gov. Mike Pence temporarily waived Indiana's ban on needle-exchange programs for only Scott County. Officials say so far 5,322 clean syringes have been provided to 86 participants. That's twice the number previously reported.

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