How do I access the index itself for a list like the following?
ints = [8, 23, 45, 12, 78]
Using an additional state variable, such as an index variable (which you would normally use in languages such as C or PHP), is considered non-pythonic.
The better option is to use the built-in function
enumerate(), available in both Python 2 and 3:
for idx, val in enumerate(ints): print(idx, val)
Check out PEP 279 for more.