HIV/AIDS

13 June 2013

HIV drug can also protect injection drug users

US health officials say a new HIV pill can also help prevent Aids infection in injection drug users.

US health officials say doctors should consider giving a daily Aids drug to another high risk group to prevent infection — people who shoot heroin, methamphetamines or other injection drugs.

A similar recommendation is already in place for gay men and heterosexual couples.

The new advice was triggered by a study done in Thailand. Drug users who took the daily pill were about 50% less likely to become infected with HIV than those given a dummy pill.

Drug users represent about one in 13 new infections in the US but they account for the majority of cases in Eastern Europe and central Asia.

The research was done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Thai government. The findings were released by the journal Lancet.

AP

 

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Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria before working for an HIV/AIDS NPO in Soweto for many years. She was named one of the Mail & Guardian's Top 200 Young South Africans in 2012.

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