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TAC welcomes new ARV guidelines

People diagnosed with HIV will now start treatment at an earlier stage of infection.

People diagnosed with HIV will now start treatment at an earlier stage of infection.

CAPE TOWN - The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) has welcomed new guidelines that will allow HIV positive patients to start treatment at an earlier stage of infection.

Earlier this week, the World Health Organisation launched the guidelines with the aim of saving more lives.

It combines existing as well as new operational and clinical guidance on the use of anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs.

TAC's Vuyiseka Dubula says, "The guidelines will prolong lives. The earlier you start treatment, the better because many people have higher CD4 counts."

South Africa has one of the highest numbers of people living with HIV in the world.

It also has the largest ARV treatment programme globally.

In April, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi launched a new fixed-dose combination of ARVs, which enables HIV positive patients to take just one pill a day.