amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research


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amfAR Calls for Increase in HIV/AIDS Research Funding at National Institutes of Health

New Infographic Details Declining Purchasing Power of NIH’s HIV/AIDS Research Dollars 

infosmallDownload the amfAR infographic, titled “Small Increase, Big Impact,”NEW YORK, Feb. 25, 2016 --- This week scientists have been making national news with important breakthroughs reported at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), one of the world's most important annual gatherings on HIV research. Unfortunately, President Obama’s proposed FY2017 budget, which flat-funds HIV research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at 2015 levels, undermines further progress in scientific research on HIV/AIDS. Since the cost of biomedical research increases with inflation, the purchasing power of NIH HIV research dollars has decreased consistently and dramatically over the past 10 years.

Funding for medical research at the NIH received a 2.5 percent increase overall – up to $33.1 billion – but HIV research received no additional funding for FY 2017, leaving it unchanged over the past three years and at the same level as FY 2009.

“We applaud the Administration for its commitment to increase funding for biomedical research, but we worry that flat-lining our country’s investments in HIV/AIDS research will impact the lifesaving research that could help us find a cure for HIV,” said Kevin Robert Frost, amfAR’s Chief Executive Officer.

The amfAR infographic, titled “Small Increase, Big Impact,” shows the declining purchasing power of the NIH’s HIV/AIDS research dollars since 2003. According to amfAR estimates, if HIV research funding were increased in line with the increase in total NIH funding, it would mean an additional $76.6 million for HIV research in 2017. That amount in the NIH’s HIV/AIDS research budget could allow the NIH to:

  1. Fund 180 HIV/AIDS studies in 2017 that could significantly advance HIV prevention, treatment or cure research;

  2. Fund 51 clinical trials focused on curing HIV; or

  3. Fund a breakthrough prevention trial such as the HPTN 052 study, which in 2011, found that early initiation of antiretroviral therapy reduced the risk of HIV transmission to uninfected partners by 96 percent, or the iPrEx study, which in 2010, found that taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) could prevent HIV infection.  

“Both the HPTN 052 and iPrEx studies were widely hailed as the number one scientific breakthroughs for their respective years,” said Greg Millet, amfAR Vice President and director of public policy. “It’s an exciting time in HIV research, and the dollars lost due to flat-funding this year alone could cost funding the next medical HIV/AIDS breakthrough.” 

About amfAR

amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested $450 million in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 3,300 research teams worldwide. Learn more about amfAR at

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