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HIV drug can also protect injection drug users

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ATLANTA (AP) — U.S. 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 percent less likely to become infected with HIV than those given a dummy pill.

Drug users represent about 1 in 13 new infections in the U.S. 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 Wednesday by the journal Lancet.

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