Philanthropic Support for HIV/AIDS Fell in 2017, Report Finds

Philanthropic Support for HIV/AIDS Fell in 2017, Report Finds

Global philanthropic support for HIV/AIDS initiatives declined to $638 million in 2017, an annual report from Funders Concerned About AIDS finds.

According to the report, Philanthropic Support to Address HIV/AIDS 2017 (44 pages, PDF), funding for efforts to address HIV/AIDS fell 5 percent, or $37 million, on a year-over-year basis, driven by significant declines in funding from the top twenty HIV/AIDS funders, who accounted for 88 percent of HIV-related philanthropy in 2017. While thirteen of the top twenty funders increased their grantmaking for HIV/AIDS between 2016 and 2017 — including an additional $33 million from the top two funders, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Gilead Sciences — the increase was offset by funding cuts by other funders.

The analysis also found that middle-income countries — home to nearly 60 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS — saw a 21 percent reduction in funding; that funding for HIV-related advocacy and human rights efforts declined 7 percent ($9 million); and that despite an increase in HIV infections in the U.S. among people who inject drugs — in part because of an increase in the use of injectable opioids — only 3 percent of HIV-related philanthropic dollars was directed to that population, down 11 percent from 2016. And while sex workers are thirteen times more likely to contract HIV than members of the general population, programs that address their needs received only 2 percent of HIV-related philanthropic dollars, a year-over-over decrease of 24 percent.

On a more positive note, the analysis found that while most regions in the U.S. saw a slight decline in HIV-related funding between 2016 and 2017, the South saw a 67 percent increase ($19 million); that funding for general operating/administration grants was up almost $30 million; and that significant funding increases were recorded for transgender populations (110 percent), gay men and men who have sex with men (35 percent), and economically disadvantaged/homeless populations (31 percent).

"Private HIV and AIDS philanthropy is catalytic. It has helped drive incredible progress against the epidemic despite seemingly insurmountable odds, not unlike those we now face," said FCAA executive director John Barnes. "It is the role of philanthropy to swim upstream, to fight prevailing headwinds that challenge progress and to leverage a unique ability to drive increased, focused funding where it is most needed."