How Indiana’s Worst Public Health Crisis In Years Swayed Pence’s Needle-Exchange Stance
In 2015, HIV was burning a path through the state and experts told Gov. Mike Pence the only hope was to lift a ban on needle exchanges. He resisted, but then changed his mind.
The New York Times:
Mike Pence’s Response To H.I.V. Outbreak: Prayer, Then A Change Of Heart
On the evening of March 24, 2015, Sheriff Dan McClain got an unexpected voice mail: “This is Gov. Mike Pence calling. I would welcome the opportunity to get your counsel on what’s going on in Scott County.”What was going on was unprecedented in Indiana and rare in the United States: H.I.V. was spreading with terrifying speed among intravenous drug users in this rural community near the Kentucky border. Local, state and federal health officials were urging the governor to allow clean needles to be distributed to slow the outbreak. (Twohey, 8/7)
How Pence's Slow Walk On Needle Exchange Helped Propel Indiana's Health Crisis
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed a pledge last month, along with most of the nation’s governors, to combat the opioid crisis, calling it “one of the deadliest drug epidemics in our nation’s history.” But when confronted with a spiraling HIV outbreak in his home state as a result of opioid addicts sharing contaminated needles, Pence dragged his feet before agreeing to lift a ban on programs that distribute sterile needles. (Demko, 8/7)