Press release

UNAIDS Board members commit to bold action to ensure the end of AIDS

The 51st meeting of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board concluded today, with commitments to bold action to get the world on track to end AIDS by 2030. The meeting, which brings together member states, civil society and UN agencies, saw a series of pledges made and agreements for joint work which will tackle the inequalities which drive the AIDS pandemic.

“The meeting this week has made vital steps forward – on resourcing, on communities, and on inequalities. Delegates have committed to fully fund the AIDS response, to support community leadership, to amplify the message of U=U (Undetectable=Untransmittable), to fight stigma and discrimination, and to support education, empowerment and Comprehensive Sexuality Education. By turning the commitments made this week into action, we can get the world on track to end AIDS by 2030,” remarked UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima. “We cannot fail. Failing means people die. Together we must win. By ensuring that communities are empowered and included, that inequalities are tackled, and that the HIV response is fully resourced, this generation of leaders can be leaders who overcome the AIDS pandemic.”

The Programme Coordinating Board noted that a fully funded and staffed UNAIDS is essential for progress to end AIDS. As the NGO Delegation put it, “Survival is at stake, real lives are at stake, we need your support now, not later.” Several donor countries including the UK and Ireland announced that they were stepping up their financial contributions. Donor countries stated their intention to shift towards providing more predictable longer-term funding through multiyear commitments. Delegates also committed to support fundraising from new donors from across sectors. Board members welcomed the recommendations of the report of the PCB Bureau based on the recommendations of the Informal Multistakeholder Task Team on the UNAIDS Funding Situation which can ensure full funding for UNAIDS.

“It was so encouraging to see the commitment of delegates to finding the money that is needed for UNAIDS work to lead global efforts to end AIDS,” said the Chair of the Programme Coordinating Board, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health, Anutin Charnvirakul.  “With global crises and unaddressed inequalities having put the AIDS response in danger, the world cannot risk a situation in which the UNAIDS Joint Programme is underfunded. Fully funding the vital integrated work of the secretariat and the 11 co-sponsoring agencies that provides the data, advances the essential policy shifts, and lifts up the voices of communities, will save lives and help end the world’s deadliest pandemic. Delegates spoke up powerfully and in no uncertain terms. In 2023 we are all committed to ensuring UNAIDS has the resources the world needs it to have.”

The meeting saw the first international definition of a community-led response to a pandemic, published after a two-year consultative process that brought together 11 governments, representing each region of the world, and 11 civil society representatives. Using the new definitions and recommendations, Minister of Health of Germany, Professor Dr. Karl Lauterbach and the UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima published an article in The Lancet  calling for inclusion of comprehensive “community pandemic infrastructure” in pandemic prevention, preparedness and response in new planning, international agreements, and financing.

Organisations of people living with HIV presented, through the report of the representative of the PCB NGO, vital findings on the importance of amplifying the message of “U=U” or “Undetectable = Untransmittable”, that people living with HIV who achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load, cannot transmit HIV sexually. They shared how communicating this important information widely helps to increase testing and treatment and also helps to combat the stigma that people living with HIV face. Their call to step up amplification of the U=U message won wide support from delegates.

There was endorsement for the work of the Global Partnership for Action to end all forms of HIV-related stigma and discrimination, which has now expanded to include 33 countries. There was praise for Barbados which this week became the most recent country to end the criminalization of same sex relationships.

Considering the power of education to tackle gender inequality and help prevent HIV transmission, the PCB endorsed the call for an integrated, multisectoral and coordinated HIV response. They endorsed  initiatives such as Education Plus, positioning schools as an entry point to address learners’ holistic education, health and protection needs, and backed cross-sectoral collaboration across ministries, families, teachers, school administration and local communities to safeguard rights. They recognised the need for alternative mechanisms to address the needs of young people who are out of school, and the importance of UNAIDS’ support for countries to scale up their comprehensive sexuality education.

The meeting highlighted unacceptable gaps in access to HIV services, including through a thematic segment on how to tackle the current poor performance against global HIV targets among men. A wide-ranging panel showcased innovative approaches to engaging men in all their diversity, finding ways to overcome the harmful gender norms that hold back progress, which will be crucial to achieve the 2030 goal of ending AIDS.

The meeting was held in Chiang Mai, Thailand – the first time in 14 years that the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board has met outside of Geneva, an important shift bringing decision-making closer to the communities most affected. Delegates visited pioneering community-led and public programmes that are helping Thailand to tackle HIV, including learning why and how Thailand is shifting from a punitive to a harm reduction approach to help reduce the risks of HIV infection and other risks for people who inject drugs. They also saw how faith communities are being engaged in work to tackle the stigma faced by LGBT people. Thailand has dramatically reduced new infections through this inclusive approach.

“Thailand has been able to show the world key lessons we have learnt in the AIDS response,” said UNAIDS Country Director for Thailand, Patchara Benjarattanaporn, “including by empowering and supporting communities to lead, decriminalising marginalised communities and tackling stigma. Thailand has also been inspired by lessons from around the world and has been reenergised to ensure that we complete the work of ending AIDS by 2030.”

For its 2023 leadership, the Board elected Germany as Chair, Kenya as Vice-chair and Brazil as Rapporteur and approved the composition of the PCB NGO Delegation for next year. In a video message to the Programme Coordinating Board, Professor Dr. Karl Lauterbach, Minister of Health, Germany, remarked: “Challenging tasks lie ahead of us, but I am confident that collectively we will be able to address them effectively in 2023. For the sake of those we have lost to AIDS over the decades, for the sake of the millions of people living with the virus, for the sake of communities and countries affected, and for the sake of those people – mostly young people – that we can prevent from getting infected, let us uphold our joint commitment to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 and let us work together.”


The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations—UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO and the World Bank—and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more at and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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UNAIDS Executive Director's report to the 51st UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board

51st meeting, UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board