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Most Injection Drug Users in Tijuana Have Tuberculosis

A new study from UCSD reveals two-thirds of IV drug users in Tijuana test positive for tuberculosis. People who shoot drugs are also at high risk for HIV infection. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

UCSD researchers tested more than a thousand IV drug users in Tijuana. Researchers found 67 percent had the latent form of tuberculosis.

This form of the disease is not contagious. However, health officials say people who test positive and inject drugs are at high risk of developing active TB.


UCSD's Dr. Richard Garfein led the steady. He says it's crucial to make sure Tijuana doesn't have an outbreak of TB.

"And I think that the approaches to infection control, if they're implemented correctly, can really do a lot to prevent that from happening," Garfein says.

Latent tuberculosis is treatable. The cure requires up to nine months of drug therapy.

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.