UNAIDS Terminology Guidelines

01 July 2024

Language influences the way we think, how we perceive reality, and how we behave. With respect to HIV, language can embody stigma and discrimination, which impacts access to testing, acquisition of HIV, and engagement with treatment. Language plays a role in supporting respect and empowerment of individuals, as communities shape how they are referred to and the labels they wish to use. Consideration and use of appropriate language can strengthen the global response to the HIV pandemic by diminishing stigma and discrimination and increasing support and understanding for individuals and communities living with HIV. Comments and suggestions for modifications should be sent to