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HQ location


Date established



GA res. 1994/24.
Acting Executive Director

The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) brings together the efforts and resources of 10 UN system organizations to help prevent new HIV infections, care for people living with HIV and mitigate the impact of the epidemic.  UNAIDS helps mount and support an expanded response to the AIDS virus, one that engages the efforts of many sectors and partners from government and civil society.  The Programme's number one priority is contributing to achieving global commitments to universal access to comprehensive interventions for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

The UNAIDS Secretariat supports a more effective global response to AIDS through :

  • Leadership and advocacy for effective action on the epidemic
  • Strategic information to guide the efforts of partners
  • Tracking, monitoring and evaluating the epidemic and responses to it
  • Civil society engagement and partnership development
  • Mobilisation of resources.

The need for a programme to take collective action against AIDS was outlined by a World Health Assembly resolution in 1993 and further endorsed by ECOSOC res. 1994/24.

UNAIDS began operation on 1 January 1996. Early that year, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the six original co-sponsors of UNAIDS: the UN Children Fund (UNICEF), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Population fund (UNFPA), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank.

These agencies were joined in 1999 by the UN International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP), which is now an integral part of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); in 2001 by the International Labour Organization (ILO); in 2003 by the World Food Programme (WFP); and in 2004 by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

UNAIDS has a secretariat with headquarters in Geneva and offices in more than 80 countries.  The organisation is guided by a Programme Coordination Board (PCB), which serves as its governing body.

Comprises 22 Member States elected by ECOSOC with a regional distribution (five African states, five Asian, two Eastern European, three Latin American and Caribbean, and seven Western European and Other), as well as the 10 co-sponsors and five non-governmental organisations, including associations of people living with HIV/AIDS.  PCB members as at 1 January 2011:

African states

Asian states

Eastern European states
Russian Federation

Latin American and Caribbean states
El Salvador

Western European and Other states

Non-governmental organisations
Africa: AIDS and Rights Alliance of Southern
Africa (ARASA)/ Association de lutte contre le sida (ALCS)
Asia/Pacific: Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW)/Jaringan Orang Terinfeksi
HIV Indonesia (JOTHI), Asia Pacific Network of People living with HIV /AIDS (APN+)
Europe: International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI)/International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD)
Latin America/Caribbean: Corporacion Kimirina/Fundacion para Estudio e Investigacion de la Mujer (FEIM)
North America: The Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF)/International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW)

Committee of Cosponsoring Organizations (CCO)

The Committee of Co-sponsoring Organizations (CCO) comprises representatives from the 10 UN Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) co-sponsors and the UNAIDS Secretariat.  It serves as the forum for the co-sponsoring organisations to meet on a regular basis to consider matters concerning UNAIDS, provides input from the co-sponsoring organisations into the policies and strategies of UNAIDS, and serves as a standing committee of the Programme Coordination Board (PCB).

The UNAIDS Executive Director is the Secretary of the CCO. Each co-sponsor rotates as chair annually.  The UNAIDS PCB membership (six seats) also rotates among co-sponsors.  The Chair for 1 January to 31 December 2011 is the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

20 Avenue Appia
1211 Geneva 27
Telephone: (+41 22) 791 3666
Fax: (+41 22) 791 4187