South Africa’s health minister on Monday launched a new single dose anti-AIDs drug which will simplify the world’s biggest HIV treatment regime to just one life-saving pill a day.
The three-in-one combination anti-retroviral (ARV) was secured at a record-low price and will cost the state 89 rand a month ($10, eight euros) per patient.
“Before 2010, we were buying the most expensive ARVs in the world. Now we are a country where the ARVs are the cheapest in the world,” said Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi.
“It means we can increase the number of people on treatment,” he added during a visit to the township of Ga-Rankuwa, about 35 kilometres (22 miles) northwest of the capital Pretoria.
After years of refusing to roll out ARVs, South Africa now has 1.9 million people on treatment among its 5.6 million HIV-positive population, which is the world’s largest.