Published: Dec 01, 2011 1:03 PM EST
Updated: Dec 01, 2011 4:10 PM EST

NEW YORK (AP) - New York City health officials are recommending that any person living with HIV be offered AIDS drugs before they are too sick or their immune system too weak.
 
Health Commissioner Thomas Farley says recent studies demonstrate that getting people on AIDS drugs earlier can help them live longer and prevent the transmission of the virus.
 
Currently, drugs are offered based on guidelines including a measure of the strength of their immune system.
 
The recommendation announced Thursday marks a fundamental change in how city health officials approach the treatment and prevention of HIV. San Francisco is believed to be the only other major city to make similar recommendations.
 
More than 110,000 people in New York City are infected with HIV.
 
The city says the new recommendation could affect about 3,000 people.