Philanthropic support for HIV/AIDS initiatives in low- and middle-income countries totaled $592 million in 2013, down 8 percent from 2012 and the lowest level of funding since 2007, a report from Funders Concerned About AIDS finds.
According to the report, Philanthropic Support to Address HIV/AIDS in 2013 (80 pages, PDF), only 3 percent of total international funding for HIV/AIDS in low- and middle-income countries in 2013 came from philanthropic sources, with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the M.A.C AIDS Fund, Gilead Sciences, Inc., the Wellcome Trust, and the Ford Foundation leading the way. The annual study also found that funding from U.S.-based philanthropies totaled $431 million in 2013 — down 4 percent on a year-over-year basis; that 88 percent of that funding was directed outside the U.S.; and that the top ten funders accounted for 83 percent of all U.S. grantmaking for HIV/AIDS in 2013, with the Gates Foundation alone accounting for 49 percent of the total. Support from European Union-based philanthropies totaled $133 million, down 16 percent from 2012, while support from funders based outside the U.S. and Western and Central Europe totaled $28 million, essentially flat from the previous year.
The overall decline in funding may be attributed, the report notes, to a number of factors, including two large funders, the Irene Diamond Fund and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, closing; at least five other funders closing or reducing their HIV portfolios; and several major pharmaceutical companies shifting funding to other areas such as hepatitis C, chronic diseases, and maternal and child health.
The report also found that the top five target populations of HIV/AIDS funding in 2013 were women, people living with HIV/AIDS (where there was no further target population specified), "multiple populations," orphaned and vulnerable children, and youth. In terms of funding purpose, research projects topped the list, followed by prevention, treatment, advocacy, and social services.
"We are at a serious crossroads," said FCAA executive director John L. Barnes. "We have been presented with the opportunities of new scientific developments and political commitments that could, if fully funded and implemented, move us closer to an AIDS-free generation. But this progress is threatened by continued decreases in funding from private philanthropic donors who provide critical support for protecting the human rights of key populations who remain most at risk for HIV and AIDS."