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Deported Men Who Inject Drugs More LIkely to Carry HIV

A new study shows that men who inject drugs and are deported to Tijuana are four times more likely to carry the HIV infection than injection drug users in Tijuana. Researchers from UCSD interviewed mo

Deported Men Who Inject Drugs More LIkely to Carry HIV

A new study shows that men who inject drugs and are deported to Tijuana are four times more likely to carry the HIV infection than injection drug users in Tijuana. Researchers from UCSD interviewed more than 1000 people who inject drugs in the border city. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has details.

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Steffanie Strathdee is Chief of International Medicine at UCSD . She's one of the lead researchers on the study.

She says its not clear if the men who were deported were infected with HIV in the US or Tijuana.

Strathdee says they'll look into it more.

She says one interpretation is that drug users are higher risk individuals in the first place.

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<b> Steffanie Stratdhee: </b> And then they get deported because of their high risk behaviors like gang membership or criminal activity.

Strathdee says the other possibility is that its the deportation itself that destabilizes people.

<b> Steffanie Strathdee: </b> They're dropped off at the border with very few if any possessions. They don't have employment, housing, etcetera. Many of them end up living in the Tijuana River Canal which is not an environment conducive to anyone's health.

Strathdee says its essential to make sure health and immigration policy work together.

Amy Isackson, KPBS news.