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Toll Rising from Drug Users in Russian-Annexed Crimea

Russia's annexation of Crimea has led to a surge in deaths among intravenous drug users, who no longer have access to vital therapy, specialists said at the world AIDS forum on Thursday.

Michel Kazatchkine, former head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, and now the U.N.'s AIDS envoy for eastern Europe, told AFP he was "very concerned" and had heard of "20 documented deaths, possibly more."

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Australian Injecting Room Upholds Fight against AIDS Epidemic

Nestled among the bars and strip clubs of Sydney's Kings Cross is a service which not only saves lives, but continues the pragmatic approach which prevented a HIV epidemic among drug-users in Australia.

Behind a nondescript shopfront is the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Center -- the only place in the southern hemisphere where users can inject heroin and other drugs under the care of registered nurses.

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S. Korea Reports First Foot-and-Mouth Case for 3 Years

South Korea on Thursday confirmed its first case of foot-and-mouth in more than three years, and just two months after the country was declared free of the disease.

The Agriculture Ministry said in a statement that the case had been confirmed in a pig farm in Uiseong in the eastern province of North Gyeongsang.

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Study Shows Paracetamol No Better than Placebo in Low-Back Pain

Paracetamol, the first-choice lower-back pain killer, worked no better than dummy drugs administered in a trial of more than 1,600 people suffering from the condition, researchers said Thursday.

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Head Doctor at S.Leone Ebola Clinic Catches Deadly Virus

A doctor in charge of an Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone has been admitted to hospital after contracting the deadly virus himself, the health ministry said Wednesday.

The news comes just days after three nurses from the same facility died of the disease, which has killed hundreds of people throughout west Africa and continues to spread.

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Heatstroke Kills Three in Japan, Thousands Hospitalised

Sweltering temperatures across Japan have left at least three people dead while 3,000 others were rushed to hospital due to heatstroke, officials said Wednesday.

The mercury soared past 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) with high humidity as the country's month-long rainy season comes to an end, after a typhoon battered the country's south earlier this month.

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Survey Finds Sharp Increase in Teen Use of HGH

Experimentation with human growth hormones by America's teens more than doubled in the past year, as more young people looked to drugs to boost their athletic performance and improve their looks, according to a new, large-scale national survey.

In a confidential 2013 survey of 3,705 high school students, being released Wednesday by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, 11 percent reported using synthetic HGH at least once — up from about 5 percent in the four preceding annual surveys. Teen use of steroids increased from 5 percent to 7 percent over the same period, the survey found.

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HIV Pills Show More Promise to Prevent Infection

There is more good news about HIV treatment pills used to prevent infection in people at high risk of getting the AIDS virus: Follow-up from a landmark study that proved the drug works now shows that it does not encourage risky sex and is effective even if people skip some doses.

The research was discussed Tuesday at the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia, and was published by the British journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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German Court Allows Patients to Grow Medical Marijuana

A German court ruled for the first time Tuesday that seriously ill patients may grow their own marijuana for medical purposes in certain cases.

The administrative court in the western city of Cologne said that while cannabis remained illegal for general use in Germany, it may be cultivated at home by some patients with medical permits for the drug.

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Geneticists Find 100+ DNA Pointers for Schizophrenia

A massive gene trawl has linked over 100 DNA coding mutations to schizophrenia, yielding critical clues about what causes the illness and possibly how to treat it, scientists said Tuesday. 

Using more than 80,000 genetic samples from schizophrenia patients and healthy volunteers, an international team of researchers found 128 variants -- 83 of them new -- associated with a higher risk for people who carry them.

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