(formerly IRIN News) Journalism from the heart of crises

Free TB drugs for HIV-positive - WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday called for the free supply of tuberculosis (TB) drugs to people living with HIV/AIDS (PWAs) in developing countries.

In a statement released at the current International AIDS Society conference in Paris, WHO said a third of the world's 42 million PWAs had TB and the majority could die within months unless they received treatment.

The organisation urged delegates to step up funding for its US $9.1 billion five-year plan to halt the spread of tuberculosis by 2005.

WHO acting director, Mario Raviglione, said, "It's essentially immoral not to make this cheap and effective treatment of TB widely available, particularly to those infected with HIV/AIDS."

WHO estimated monthly TB treatment costs at around US $10 per patient.

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