NAC functions as the central coordination unit which collaborates with sectoral coordination bodies at national, district and community levels. HIV and AIDS activities in the faith-based sector are coordinated by the Malawi Inter-Faith HIV/AIDS Association (MIAA); activities in the private sector are coordinated by the Malawi Business Coalition Against HIV/AIDS (MBCA); the public sector response is coordinated by the Department of Human Resource Management and Development (DHRMD); whereas the Malawi Network of People Living with HIV (MANET+) and National Association of People Living with HIV (NAPHAM) are responsible for coordinating organizations for People living with HIV (PLHIV); the civil society is coordinated by Malawi Network of AIDS Service Organizations (MANASO).

All these sectors form what is called the Malawi HIV and AIDS Partnership Forum, a multisectoral grouping of experts, which has been in place since 2005. The forum provides technical advice to the National AIDS Commission Board of Commissioners.

This coordination arrangement is guided by the Three Ones Principle which stipulates that, in order to effectively respond to HIV and AIDS, there must be:

  1. One coordinating authority which is the National AIDS Commission.
  2. One agreed upon country level monitoring and evaluation system which is operationalised through the National HIV and AIDS Monitoring and Evaluation Framework; and,
  3. One HIV and AIDS Action Framework, which is the Malawi National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan, 2015-2020.