Kenya's president has announced that public hospitals and clinics will begin providing anti-retroviral drugs at no charge to AIDS patients.

In comments made Thursday, President Mwai Kibaki said his government will immediately waive the fees it has been charging for the drugs.

More than 200,000 Kenyans are eligible for the anti-retroviral drugs, but just a fraction are using the medications. The fee of slightly more than one dollar for a treatment has been cited as a reason more people are not taking the medications.

The World Health Organization estimates some 1.2 million Kenyans are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. An estimated six percent of Kenya's adult population is infected, down from 14 percent a few years ago.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.