- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 29, 2010

BLANTYRE, MALAWI (AP) - Malawi’s vice president says her AIDS-ravaged southern African country will adopt the latest U.N. health guidelines that call for putting HIV-positive people on drugs sooner.

That means some 500,000 Malawians could be on AIDS drugs by July, double the number now being treated. Still, nearly a million Malawians are believed to need the drugs.

Joyce Banda made the announcement Wednesday during a meeting with religious leaders to discuss fighting AIDS.

Most Malawians now get AIDS treatment free, thanks to groups like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. At least 12 percent of Malawi’s 13.1 million people have HIV.


The U.N. World Health Organization issued its new guidance on AIDS last year. Poor countries have struggled to comply.