What Does It Mean to Be an HIV Funder Today?


*This article was originally published on POZ.

What does it mean to be an HIV funder today? And, what does the evolving funding environment mean for the organizations on the front line, those that rely on private philanthropy to continue their work?

These are questions that my organization, Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA), will be asking at the 2019 AIDS Philanthropy Summit to be held in Washington, DC, from October 28 to 29.

The Evolving Funding Landscape

A little more than 30 years ago, a group of funders, concerned about the lack of philanthropic leadership in the fight against HIV and AIDS, joined to coordinate their response. Their mission was clear: taking bold actions and engaging in relentless efforts to push philanthropy and — and, in turn, the government — to respond to the epidemic.

Since that time, both public and private funding for the HIV response has grown enormously. As the epidemic took an immense toll, grantmakers were focused on beating it back by directing resources to the scale up of treatment and prevention.

Thus, began an era of “AIDS exceptionalism” — a time when global health decision makers determined that, due to the originally lethal nature of the virus, the disease required a response above and beyond “normal” health interventions. As a result of this approach, there now exists a clear path to ending HIV in our lifetimes. Without that extreme focus and attention, such progress likely never would have occurred.

Read the full article here.