Foreign nationals are to be offered free treatment for HIV on the NHS under plans backed by the government.
Campaigners say the move in England will reduce the risk of Britons being infected and cut the costs of more expensive later treatment.
Currently only British residents are eligible, which excludes migrants.
The Department of Health said it would bring England into line with Scotland and Wales, and there would be safeguards against "health tourism".Extend treatment
There are an estimated 25,000 people with undiagnosed HIV in Britain, many of whom were born abroad.
People from overseas cannot be treated for the condition unless they pay, which is not the case for other infectious diseases.
This group of people includes failed asylum seekers, students and tourists.
Conservative former cabinet minister Lord Fowler, who headed the government's Aids awareness campaign in the 1980s, has called for an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill currently before the Lords.
This would extend free treatment to those who have been in Britain for six months.
The proposal will be introduced by the government in a Statutory Instrument rather than as part of the legislation.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
BBC News - Free HIV treatment on NHS for foreign nationals