End of the Global Programme on AIDS and the Launch of UNAIDS

  • Michael Merson
  • Stephen Inrig


In the face of an ever-expanding AIDS pandemic and fraying global coordination, the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution calling for the creation of a joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS with participation of the World Health Organization (WHO) and five other UN agencies. This chapter details this process and the eventual decision by the global community to create this program, known as UNAIDS. This program was to be collaboratively owned, planned, and executed by its cosponsors and essentially brought to an end the Global Programme on AIDS (GPA) after only 8 years of existence. It also discusses the complex and difficult path of transition from GPA to UNAIDS, including the search for a UNAIDS Executive Director and the eventual appointment of Peter Piot to that position. Lastly, we describe the controversial events associated with the closing of GPA, and summarize GPA’s accomplishments in its response to the AIDS pandemic.


Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS WHO leadership Nils Kastberg Richard Butler ECOSOC UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot Transition from Global Programme on AIDS to UNAIDS Global Programme on AIDS accomplishments 

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Merson
    • 1
  • Stephen Inrig
    • 2
  1. 1.Duke Global Health InstituteDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Mount Saint Mary’s UniversityLos AngelesUSA

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