How to end an epidemic

Rename HIV Today

By proposing a new name for HIV, you’re helping to break a stigma that’s been attached to the virus for over four decades. 

Once you’ve come up with a new name for HIV, you can enter your submission alongside a short description of why you think HIV should be renamed. Remember to look over the guidelines below to make sure your name is in line with the standards set out by the WHO. 

Once your submission has been reviewed, it will be posted on the website. 

How to Name a Virus

For a new name to be selected it must be appropriate. Any derogatory or otherwise harmful names will not be considered.   

As outlined by the WHO guidelines, a disease’s name should be simple, descriptive and avoid any negative impact. Names should also be kept to a minimum length and made as simple to pronounce as possible. A disease with a long name should have a thought-out acronym, as that is what it will most likely be referred to in everyday conversation.  

A complete list of the WHO guidelines can be found here.  Add your name to show your support. To go a step further, download the open letter, sign it, and share it online. 



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Rethink HIV

We’re calling on the WHO, on the leaders of the world, and you: rename HIV, for a future beyond the epidemic.

Today, HIV is a treatable and preventable condition, but the virus carries a stigma we can’t treat. Stigma that has slowed prevention efforts around the world, restricted access to treatment, and left those living with the virus to internalize and face decades of fear, anger, and bigotry.

To end the HIV epidemic, we need to change how we think about, approach, and discuss HIV. And to do that, we need to rename the virus.

Support the Open Letter

Our Open Letter to the Director-General of the World Health Organization calls for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to be renamed in 2023. Add your name to join the scientists, politicians and public figures already supporting the letter. 

Rename HIV

HIV needs a new name to move beyond a history of fear, stigma and shame.

And that starts with you. 


Youth Against AIDS, an initiative of the ohhh! foundation, is an international youth-led organization focused on promoting sexual health. They offer a platform for young people to unite and update the global approach to the HIV epidemic.