JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- A public health emergency is declared in Clark County Indiana, more than a year after officials originally asked for it. 

The emergency truly started in Scott County, where officials called what they are going through "an unprecedented HIV outbreak." 

Neighboring Clark County will now hold a needle exchange program to stop the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C. 

Officials want to assure the people in southern Indiana that the needle exchange program is a proven program that works to stop 
HIV and Hepatitis C. 

Right after the health emergency was put into place WDRB spoke with officials, who told us this is at the top of their to-do list. 

"This has been at the top of our list for a long time," said Mike Meyer, administrator with the Clark County Health Department. "Many things we deal with are preventative, almost everything we deal with is preventative and this certainly would rise to the top."  

There are two big things that the health department needs to make this needle exchange happen: money and a supply of clean needles.

Health department officials say they are working with a private group out of Indianapolis, and hope that the group can help with funding and with the needles. 

Officials added they can't use federal or state money to fund the needle exchange program. They hope to start the needle exchange program in late September or possibly early October. 

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