Turnaround

South Africa Expands AIDS Treatment

In a move cheered around the world, South Africa marked World AIDS Day by announcing it will expand treatment for HIV-positive children under 1 year old and pregnant women. In a country where one in 10 citizens is infected by HIV, South Africa has long been criticized for its backward views on AIDS. Under the former administration, the health minister promoted garlic and beet treatments to combat the disease. President Jacob Zuma has also been known to make incendiary statements about AIDS, claiming that it could be prevented with a shower. A Harvard study found that ignoring valid medical care led to more than 300,000 premature deaths in South Africa. The new position, lauded by AIDS activists, follows the World Health Organization's new guidelines that call for HIV-infected pregnant women to be treated with drugs earlier and while breast-feeding.