The UN's response to AIDS formally began in 1986, when the Global Programme on AIDS was established at the World Health Organisation (WHO). As the epidemic expanded and evolved, it became increasingly clear that an unprecedented effort extending beyond the health sector would be required to address the growing global crisis. Today, ten UN agencies sponsor the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. They include: UNCHR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNIDC, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank.
Most of the Joint UN Programme's work is at country level. The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS, is the main advocate for accelerated, comprehensive and coordinated global action on the epidemic. UNAIDS coordinates all AIDS-related activities undertaken by the UN system.
Its mission is to lead, strengthen and support an expanded response to HIV and AIDS that includes preventing transmission of HIV, providing care to those already living with the virus, reducing the vulnerability of individuals and communi-ties to HIV and alleviating the impact of the epidemic.
UNAIDS Country Coordinators facilitate the work of UN Theme Groups on HIV and AIDS