Doctor now available at Austin 'one-stop-shop' - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Doctor now available at Austin 'one-stop-shop' as health officials work to contain the spread of HIV

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AUSTIN, Ind. (WDRB) - It's another resource available in the small southern Indiana town that's considered the center of an HIV epidemic. 

Health officials say a doctor will now work out of the "One-Stop-Shop" in Austin, Ind., on Wednesdays. 

Adding one doctor doubles the total in the community of about 4,200. 

"We did receive a number of requests within the first few weeks of opening of the clinic that patients were not finding that medical care as accessible as they needed," said Scott County Health Officer Dr. Kevin Rogers. 

The state department of health says more than 180 people have tested positive for HIV in connection to the outbreak. 

The number of new cases, though, has slowed. 

"We have a large population of people who aren't currently HIV infected, but who are at high risk for that," Rogers said. 

In addition to providing general medical treatment, Rogers says the physician, Dr. Olutayo Olabige, can prescribe a drug called 'PrEP' to people considered high risk, like those sharing needles. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "When taken consistently, PrEP has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV infection in people who are at high risk by up to 92 percent." 

The one-stop-shop in Austin puts Dr. Olabige under the same roof as the needle exchange. 

Convenience is key in this situation, because officials don't want the people who need help to walk away. 

"Being able to provide access for care and remove any obstacles and barriers, that's an important accomplishment in keeping with our goal of providing quality care," said Scott Memorial Hospital CEO Mike Everett. 

Scott Memorial Hospital and county health officials worked together to make this happen. 

"We think we've had a wonderful response so far, and certainly our goal is to continue to provide high quality care to our community," Rogers said. 

We're told Dr. Olabige started working at the Austin location on Sept. 9. 

HIV patients are still being referred to infectious disease physicians. 

If you have any questions about the one-stop-shop services or needle exchange, you can call 812-794-2730. 

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