UNAIDS: Trying to Gain Traction

  • Michael Merson
  • Stephen Inrig


This chapter describes the evolution of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). At a time when the discovery of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) had energized the AIDS community, UNAIDS faced significant difficulty trying to establish its leadership amongst shrinking budgets, quarrelling cosponsors, inconsistent and inadequate support from donors, and a strained relationship with the World Health Organization. UNAIDS established UN theme groups on HIV/AIDS to provide a single UN voice on AIDS policies in countries, strove to improve access to HAART, especially in low- and middle-income countries, and built relationships with nontraditional partners, particularly non-governmental organizations, faith-based organizations, and the business community. Against this back drop, the AIDS world lost one of its greatest champions when Jonathan Mann tragically died in a commercial plane crash.


Treatment HAART UNAIDS World Health Organization Donors United Nations Development Programme United Nations Theme Groups on HIV/AIDS Jonathan Mann 

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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