Are Funders Still Focusing On HIV/AIDS?


*This post was originally published on HealthAffairs’ GrantWatch blog.

In January 2020 Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA) published Philanthropic Support to Address HIV/AIDS in 2018. FCAA produces a comprehensive “resource tracking” report annually. Private philanthropy, including 693 funders, gave more than $651 million in 2018. John Barnes, FCAA executive director, comments in an accompanying blog post, “The bottom line, however, is that global philanthropic funding to fight the epidemic remained relatively flat, with only a 2% increase” from 2017 to 2018. “Even this modest increase was driven by relatively few funders and belies the reality of the steady retreat from HIV by broader philanthropy.” Barnes comments, though, that he was glad to see a 6 percent increase in funding for advocacy. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was the top HIV/AIDS funder overall in 2018. Other foundations on the “Top 20” list that are familiar to GrantWatch readers include the Wellcome Trust (United Kingdom), Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and Ford Foundation. Funding for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a daily pill to prevent HIV, increased 16 percent in 2018, and, interestingly, funding targeting people over age fifty increased 627 percent, according to the report. Looking to the future, the report says, “We better understand our task as not just stopping [the HIV] virus, but also addressing the social and political factors that have fueled it.”

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