SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A San Francisco task force charged with devising strategies for reducing Hepatitis C infections has recommended making the city the first in the U.S. with a drop-in center where intravenous drug users can obtain needles and shoot up.

The 30-member committee made up of doctors, patients and public health officials unanimously supported creating a publicly funded safe injection center in a report issued last week after two years of study.

Members say that a similar facility in Vancouver has kept dirty needles off the streets, reduced overdose deaths and helped slow the spread of both Hepatitis C and HIV.

But the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the concept has been floated before and is unlikely to go anywhere now because neither the city’s health director nor interim Mayor Ed Lee supports it.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)



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