Monroe County, Indiana

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Outreach Testing & HIV/HCV Prevention

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In the spirit of meeting people 'where they're at,'  Monroe County Harm Reduction programming, including the Monroe County Syringe Service Program (MCSSP) aims to increase the harm reduction services in the community by taking services out of the clinic and bringing them closer to where people need them the most. 
Everyone over the age of 18 should be tested for HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV) at least once in their lifetime. CDC recommends periodic testing for people with ongoing risk factors.
According to the CDC, 'The hepatitis C virus is usually spread when someone comes in contact with blood from an infected person. The blood might be in amounts too small to see. This can happen in several ways.
  • sharing items infected with HCV
    • Most people get infected with HCV by sharing needles, syringes, or other paraphernalia used for injection drug use.
    • You can also get infected by sharing razors, nail clippers, toothbrushes, or personal medical equipment like glucose monitors.
  • birth
  • health care associated outbreaks
  • sex with a person infected with HCV
  • tattoos or body piercings in unregulated settings

Hepatitis C does not spread through casual contact.

There is no evidence to suggest that hepatitis is spread through sharing eating utensils, hugging, kissing, holding hands, coughing or sneezing. It is also not spread through food, water, or breastfeeding.' 

CURRENT PREVENTION SERVICES 

HIV and Hepatitis C Prevention 

The Monroe County Health Department (MCHD) Harm Reduction Community Health Specialist offers free and confidential referrals and safer use supplies during Syringe Service Program mobile outreach hours, or by appointment. These services are in addition to the Syringe Service Program outreach offered by the IRA staff and volunteers during their regular business hours. 

All injection related supplies provided are available for distribution in order to reduce opportunities for the spread of bloodborne illnesses such as HIV, HCV and HBV as well as soft tissue damage, infection, endocarditis and other injection related harms. 

HIV & Hepatitis C testing

Providing an opportunity for testing for HIV and HCV allows individuals to more quickly receive treatment to manage or cure the disease.

Harm Reduction staff provide HIV/HCV rapid antibody testing alongside DIS staff who provide chlamydia/gonorrhea testing on the 1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month at Shalom Community Center (620 S. Walnut Street) from 11 am - 1 pm. 

Harm Reduction staff provide HIV/HCV rapid antibody testing when providing street outreach alongside our partners at HealthNet's Bloomington based Homeless Initiative Program, as well as bi-weekly at Pantry 279 in Ellettsville (3609 IN-46, Bloomington, IN, 47404). Contact bcollins@co.monroe.in.us for more information on these sites. 

MCHD staff use rapid HIV and HCV antibody tests that process in less than 30 minutes. That means that you will have a result the same day that you come in for a test. 

REFERRALS:

HIV Treatment/case management

If you have been diagnosed with HIV and are in need of medication and/or other support services, please contact IU Health Positive Link. They are able to assist with medication, case management, and PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) the HIV prevention medication.

Hepatitis C Treatment/case management

If you have already been diagnosed with Hep C and are seeking treatment, care coordination is available. In the past few years there have been a number of restrictions lifted for access to treatment, including no longer requiring a minimum liver fibrosis score, as seen on this Indiana State of Medicaid Access Report Card. There are now also a number of care coordinators throughout the state to assist in connecting to a treatment provider.Some Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) providers are also offering Hep C treatment to patients!

Locally, if interested in Hep C treatment and care coordination, you can ask MCHD's Harm Reduction staff or reach out to:

For more info about HCV:

For more info about HIV:

PrEP/PEP

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) are medications to prevent HIV infection for people who are at risk for HIV infection. We are lucky to have Positive Link, a program of IU Health Bloomington Hospital Community Health, here in Bloomington. Positive Link provides a continuum of services for people who are at risk or living with HIV/AIDS. If you are interested in learning more about PrEP or PEP to see if it is right for you, contact Kristen Patterson, Hep C & PrEP Navigator directly at 812-235-2548 or kpatterson5@iuhealth.org

Prep/pep

This page was updated/reviewed 6/2024


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Contact Us

Lori Kelley,
Health Administrator
Health Building
119 W 7th St
Bloomington, IN 47404
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  • Phone: (812) 349-2543
  • Fax: (812) 339-6481
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  • M - F 8:00 a.m - 4:00 p.m.

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