South Africa, which leads the world in
HIV infections, said Thursday that it will offer free treatment to
all people living with the disease.
Previously, only people with a low
white blood cell count were eligible for free treatment.
“This new policy extends this to all
people living with HIV,” South Africa's health department said.
More than 3.4 million people in South
Africa receive HIV medication. The United Nations last year
estimated the number of infections in the nation at seven million.
The health department said that the
change was based on guidelines adopted late last year by the World
Health Organization (WHO), the
AP reported. WHO officials advise treating those with HIV as
early as possible.