Grantmaking for HIV/AIDS Totaled $663 Million in 2015, Report Finds

Philanthropic support for HIV/AIDS initiatives in low- and middle-income countries totaled $663 million in 2015, up 10 percent from 2014, a report from Funders Concerned About AIDS finds.

According to the report, Philanthropic Support to Address HIV/AIDS in 2015 (48 pages, PDF), funding for HIV/AIDS initiatives in 2015 returned to pre-recession levels — following declines in 2009, 2010, and 2013. Driving the growth in 2015 were significant increases among the top ten funders, including Gilead Sciences (up $50.8 million from 2014, to $124.2 million), ViiV Healthcare (up $13.2 million, to $29.1 million), the Children's Investment Fund Foundation (up $10 million, to $21 million), Johnson & Johnson (up $7.9 million, to $15.9 million), and the M.A.C AIDS Fund (up $4.5 million, to 44.9 million). Those increases were partly offset, however, by decreases in funding from other organizations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (down $26 million, to $197 million), the Wellcome Trust (down $3.1 million, to $15.8 million), and the Ford Foundation (down $2 million, to $16 million). Nevertheless, the top twenty funders accounted for 84 percent of all grant dollars in 2015.

Funded by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the Open Society Foundations, and the Ford Foundation, the report also found that $232 million was awarded in the form of grants with a global, non-country-specific focus and that the top intended use of those grants was research ($220 million), followed by treatment ($162 million), prevention ($134 million), advocacy ($123 million, up $32 million from 2014), and social services ($97 million). And while nearly $202 million was targeted to the general population (including medical research, prevention, and advocacy), funding for vulnerable populations such as men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, sex workers, transgender populations, and children with HIV/AIDS also increased, by some 59 percent.

UNAIDS estimates that in order to meet its "Fast Track Targets" or the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals target of ending AIDS by 2030, total resources needed to address the epidemic in low- and middle-income countries will have to increase from $19 billion in 2015 — of which private philanthropy accounted for just a fraction — to $26.2 billion in 2020.

"Although the increase in philanthropic funding is encouraging, there is still much effort needed to ensure we have the resources necessary to meet global HIV and AIDS targets," said FCAA executive director John L. Barnes. "It's important to note, too, that philanthropic resources allocated to fighting the epidemic are concentrated among a handful of donors, leaving the field vulnerable to the decisions and fluctuations of a relatively small group."