Rural Indiana county ends needle swap that helped fight HIV — sparking fears of another outbreak

Now, Matern said, more than 150 have HIV, making the community of about 24,000 seem to her even more vulnerable. In an interview Friday, she struggled to explain why a “dream team” chorus of support for the syringe program was not enough — echoing the frustrations of health officials around the country who have felt sidelined or overruled during a year of highly politicized responses to the coronavirus pandemic.

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