Warning to steroid users over diseases

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BODY-conscious Islanders who inject steroids to help build their muscles run an even greater risk of spreading blood-borne viruses such as HIV and hepatitis C than heroin users, a drug expert has warned.

Consultant Michael Gafoor said that intravenous steroid users were less likely to access needle-exchange programmes because they did not recognise themselves as problem drug users. Sharing or reusing needles dramatically increases the chances of spreading disease and viruses.

The former director of the Island's Alcohol and Drug Service, who left the role in December, labelled steroid use in Jersey 'a hidden problem' and called for a serious assessment of the problem, and for more support to be made available for drug users.

HIV can lead to Aids, while hepatitis C is a virus which attacks the liver.

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