Assuming Global Leadership

  • Michael Merson
  • Stephen Inrig


This chapter covers the evolution of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) AIDS program and its leadership in the global response. The program was renamed the Special Programme on AIDS (SPA), and would focus on prevention, reducing the personal and social impact of AIDS, and coordinating the national and global response. In order to have the necessary prominence and flexibility, the program was moved into the Director-General’s office and operated outside WHO’s traditional regional structure. The chapter explains why this move was necessary and how the SPA Director Jonathan Mann sought funds for a program whose budget was the largest in in WHO’s history. It further describes the development of Mann’s Global AIDS Strategy, and the establishment of country national AIDS programs. In January, 1987, WHO’s Executive Board renamed SPA to the Global Programme on AIDS.


Global Programme on AIDS Global AIDS Strategy WHO structure Budget National AIDS programs 

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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