Scott County’s HIV crisis “may reveal a terrifying future for public health in America.”


Earlier today:

“State Representative Ed Clere will be a featured guest speaker at the Southern Indiana PRIDE Launch Event next Thursday October 11th, 2018.”

Last year:

Mike Pence minced in The New Yorker: “(Ed) Clere remains bitter about Pence.”

And a year before that:

Prayer, needles and Pence. Radical Christian extremists, be gone.

I’ve said it before and will say it again: As a lifelong Hoosier, I’m compelled to warn those of you currently existing on an steady diet of “Impeach Trump” that waiting in the wings is someone far worse, primarily because Mike Pence actually believes the religious mumbo-jumbo to which The Donald pays only bored lip service.

Mike Pence Is Still to Blame for an HIV Outbreak in Indiana—but for New Reasons, by Steven W. Thrasher (The Nation)

The avoidable Scott County epidemic may reveal a terrifying future for public health in America.

 … The disaster in Scott County was not just a failure of clean needles or even just Indiana’s long-time “abstinence stressed” sexual education. It was a disaster born of a total abdication of Indiana’s public-health responsibility—and it’s the kind of health disaster we could see nationally. Pence is now vice president in an administration that is gutting HIV/AIDS resources and further criminalizing drug use—two paths that will increase HIV prevalence across the country. Meanwhile, the twin crises of deindustrialization and rising opioid usage mean that the conditions for localized HIV epidemics are not unique to Scott County. Indeed, Gonsalves and Crawford write that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes there are “220 counties across the USA at risk of outbreaks of HIV” and hepatitis C …

… Gonsalves and Crawford’s study of Scott County shows that preventable epidemics can happen anywhere where austerity is combined with theocratic, anti-science policies. As public-health approaches are abandoned throughout the United States, that applies to increasingly large swaths of the country.