Global philanthropic support for HIV/AIDS initiatives totaled a record $680 million in 2016, a report from Funders Concerned About AIDS finds.
According to the report, Philanthropic Support to Address HIV/AIDS 2016 (23 pages, PDF), funding for efforts to address HIV/AIDS increased 2 percent on a year-over-year basis, driven by significant increases from ViiV Healthcare (United Kingdom), Aidsfonds (Netherlands), and the Elton John AIDS Foundation (United States and UK), as well as a year-over-year increase of $41 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. On a less positive note, the study found significant declines in support from the majority of funders, with the total for funders with data in both years falling from $477 million to $431 million when excluding contributions from the Gates Foundation.
"Once again, the majority of philanthropic resources allocated to fighting the epidemic is concentrated among a handful of donors," said FCAA executive director John Barnes. "The top twenty funders accounted for 87 percent of 2016 resources. In fact, without the two largest funders — [the] Gates Foundation and Gilead Sciences, which, together, represent over half of all funding in 2016 — total giving to HIV/AIDS among all other private funders decreased 5 percent."
The report also found that the top recipient of country-level philanthropic funding for HIV/AIDS initiatives was the U.S., which attracted a record $175 million in HIV/AIDS-related funding, and that funding to low- and middle-income countries totaled $162 million, up 11 percent from 2015. As bilateral funding from donor governments continues to fall, the report notes, the philanthropic sector can play a critical role by supporting pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), advocacy and human rights, key populations (men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, sex workers, transgender populations), capacity building, and leadership development.
"We cannot allow flagging resources and ill-informed policy to roll back decades of progress," said Channing Wickham, executive director of the Washington AIDS Partnership and chair of the FCAA board. "Now, more than ever, we are calling on the philanthropic sector to increase support and leverage its unique abilities to respond to HIV and AIDS."