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Foreigners to get free treatment for HIV‎ in the UK

Foreign nationals are to be offered free treatment for HIV on the NHS under plans backed by the UK government.

The UK Press association reports:

Overseas visitors to Britain are to be offered free HIV treatment on the NHS for the first time.

Ministers are backing calls for non-UK residents to be treated for the condition as part of efforts to protect the wider public. Foreign students, workers and victims of human trafficking are among those expected to benefit.

The Department of Health said that safeguards would be introduced to prevent “health tourism”. Currently treatment for HIV is only available to people officially resident in Britain, excluding migrants.

But Lord Fowler, a former Conservative Cabinet minister who has campaigned on Aids, has called for free treatment to be extended to those who have been in Britain for six months.

The proposal, contained in an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill currently before the Lords, will be accepted by the Government but introduced in a Statutory Instrument rather than as part of the legislation. The move comes amid concerns about rising levels of HIV infection and the cost to the NHS of not treating it early. Foreigners are thought to be dissuaded from seeking help because of the cost of treatment.

Read the full article via THE UK PRESS ASSOCIATION