- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A bill that would create a needle exchange pilot program in an effort to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis among drug users is heading to Gov. Rick Scott.

The bill passed on a 95-20 vote Wednesday, with lawmakers from both parties praising the effort.

The program would be run by the University of Miami and use mobile units to reach areas where intravenous drug users are known to be.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last year that Florida diagnosed more HIV cases in 2013 than any other state.

The program also would offer HIV and hepatitis screenings and provide participants with information on the transmission of the diseases.

Scott’s office didn’t immediately respond to an email asking his position on the bill.

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