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Governor Signs HIV Treatment Bill

AIDS activists are declaring a major legislative victory after Governor Davis signed a bill to provide treatment to HIV patients in the early stages of the disease.

The law signed yesterday establishes a statewide pilot program to expand Medi-Cal to low-income, non-disabled HIV patients. Currently, only those diagnosed with full-blown AIDS qualify for Medi-Cal coverage.

Michael Weinstein is executive director of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the nation´s largest HIV/AIDS medical care provider. He says it´s the most important AIDS legislation in California in a decade.

Supporters of the new law say the program will provide much-needed preventive care to keep HIV patients healthy and ultimately reduce long-term medical costs.