HIV Specialist - June 2021 - 20

CHANGING THE STORY
key populations and their sexual partners
account for the majority of new global HIV
infections, the data found a 12 percent
decrease in HIV-related philanthropy for key
populations overall in 2019, as well as substantial
declines for nearly every population
tracked within this category.
While the 2019 calendar year data examined
in this latest report was not impacted by
the COVID-19 pandemic, it highlights gaps
in the response that existed pre-COVID-19
that will now be compounded. Understanding
where funding around these issues was in
pre-COVID-19 times will help to measure
and guide the response moving forward.
This leads us to a second report which
explores the converging epidemics of
COVID-19, HIV, and inequality.
Source: Funders Concerned About AIDS' 2019 Philanthropic Support to Address HIV/AIDS report
CHAPTER 1: Stagnating Philanthropic Funding
for HIV and AIDS
In early May, FCAA published its 18th annual Philanthropic Support
to Address HIV/AIDS report which showed an increase of $49 million,
or seven percent from 2018, for a total of nearly $706 million. This
is the highest level of giving since the organization began tracking
HIV-related philanthropy almost 20 years ago. However, that rise was
driven almost entirely by a single, $100 million payment from one
funder and belies what would have otherwise been an overall decrease
in HIV-related philanthropy.
Over the past several years, this report has shown that philanthropic
resources for HIV/AIDS have remained relatively flat. This
comes at a time when we can ill-afford stagnation in the response to
the epidemic. What's more, the number of funders is shrinking, with
the majority of grants given by just a few grant-makers. This puts us
in a very vulnerable position should the priorities of an ever-smaller
number of funders shift.
Out of the 264 funders analyzed in the report, the top 20 account
for 92 percent of the year's total, the highest level of resources concentrated
among these top funders to date. Compare this to just five years
ago, when the top 20 funders accounted for only 80 percent of total
giving. Furthermore, the top two funders-The Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation and Gilead Sciences, Inc.-represent over 50 percent of
grantmaking each year.
There are other alarming trends highlighted in this year's data.
The vast majority of people living with HIV/AIDS reside in low- and
middle-income countries (LMIC), yet HIV-related philanthropy to
LMIC decreased by 32 percent from 2018 to 2019. Similarly, while
20 JUNE 2021 HIVSPECIALIST WWW.AAHIVM.ORG
CHAPTER 2: COVID-19 Deepens
Existing Gaps in the Response
In January 2020, COVID-19 was first reported
in the U.S., quickly revealing a pattern
of deeper impact on communities of color.
Globally, the same groups, known within the
HIV/AIDS policy response as key-affected
populations, experienced further marginalization
at the onset of the pandemic and
faced additional barriers in access to HIV
care (and other health services), efforts to
protect themselves from COVID-19 transmission,
and accessing appropriate care after
SARS-CoV-2 infection.2
In order to better understand how best to
respond to the evolving needs of vulnerable
communities at the intersection of HIV/
AIDS, COVID, and (in the U.S. context) racial
justice, FCAA convened a Learning Group
and, with the Elton John AIDS Foundation as
a partner, commissioned a report. It quickly
became clear that the crisis needed to be
evaluated in a more intersectional way.
The pandemic raised barriers to health
and wellness even higher for marginalized
populations living with or at risk of acquiring
HIV-specifically, men who have sex with
men, people who use drugs, sex workers, and
young people, globally, and Black women,
transgender women and the LGBTQ community
in the U.S. The early months of the crisis
left people struggling to meet basic needs
such as food, shelter, and cash, and fearing for
their safety and security:
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HIV Specialist - June 2021

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