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Resource Tracking

In a financial climate with increasingly limited resources, tracking investment in HIV R&D provides the field with vital information to chart the course forward. Monitoring funding trends allows identification of promising areas where investment is needed, prioritization of research, analysis of the effects public policies have on funding trends and fact-based advocacy to support future investment in research. As later-stage and follow-on trials move forward, understanding and evaluating research in the context of public, private and philanthropic funding is increasingly important to ensure continued movement down the path towards ending AIDS. For more than a decade, AVAC has been a part of a variety of resource tracking efforts—tracking funding for HIV across the research agenda.

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HIV Vaccines and Microbicides Resource Tracking Working Group
Since 2004, the Resource Tracking for HIV Prevention Research and Development Working Group (formerly the HIV Vaccines and Microbicides Resource Tracking Working Group) has collected information annually on the amount invested in research and development for HIV prevention options, including vaccines, microbicides, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), treatment as prevention, male circumcision, female condoms, HSV-2 prevention and vertical transmission prevention, and also cure and therapeutic vaccine research.

Funding Trends from 2016
In 2016, funding for HIV prevention R&D decreased by US$35 million from the previous year to a total of US$1.17 billion. This marks the lowest recorded annual investment in more than a decade. While investments toward research in preventive vaccines, PrEP and medical male circumcision increased in 2016, funding for microbicides, treatment as prevention, female condoms and prevention of vertical transmission decreased.

In keeping with past trends, the US public-sector made up the lion’s share of public sector funding at US$881 million, and increased its investment by 3.6 percent from 2015. However, European public-sector funding decreased by US$10 million from last year, and at US$59 million, it accounted for 6 percent of all public-sector investment. There was also a decrease in funding from countries outside the US and Europe, with levels dropping from US$50 million to US$12 million in 2016. Funding from the philanthropic sector remained unchanged at US$157 million and made up 13 percent of all funding. Commercial sector funding decreased by 25 percent from the prior year and amounted to US$56 million.

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Global HIV Prevention R&D Investment by Technology Category

Funding Trends from 2015
In 2015, reported funding for HIV prevention R&D decreased from US$ 1.25 billion in 2014 to US$1.20 billion. However, overall funding has remained essentially flat for over a decade. While investments towards research for preventive vaccines and female condoms increased from 2014 levels, investments towards microbicides, PrEP, TasP, VMMC and PMTCT declined.

The US public sector remained the single largest source of funding for HIV prevention R&D, with a total investment of US$850 million. AT US$69 million European public sector investment remained the same as in 2014. Public sector funding outside the US and Europe also continued to fall, decreasing another US$2 million in 2015 for a total US$15 million decline since 2013. Finally, the philanthropic sector comprised 13 percent of all funding at US$157 million, a 22 percent decrease from 2014 contributions, while the commercial sector increased its contribution to HIV prevention R&D by 18 percent over 2014.

HIV Cure Research Resource Tracking
In 2014, the HIV Vaccines and Microbicides Resource Tracking Working Group and AVAC began a collaboration with the International AIDS Society’s (IAS) Towards an HIV Cure initiative. AVAC, Treatment Action Group (TAG) and the IAS brought together a group to review and allocate grants towards HIV cure research and analyze data on global funding. The working group released a report in July 2017, Global Investment in HIV Cure Research and Development in 2016: Funding for cure remains a priority.

HIV Treatment Research Resource Tracking
Since 2009, AVAC has collaborated with the Treatment Action Group (TAG) and UNAIDS to collect and analyze global funding towards HIV treatment as part of the HIV Treatment Research and Development Resource Tracking Project initiative. An Exploratory Analysis of HIV Treatment Research and Development Investments in 2009, was released at the 6th International AIDS Conference on HIV pathogenesis, treatment and prevention in Rome, Italy. In March 2013, the most recent report Funding Scientific Innovation: Global Investments in HIV Treatment Research and Development in 2010 and 2011 was released. AVAC also worked with UNAIDS in preparing a report on investment in treatment as prevention for HIV and TB entitled Antiretroviral Treatment for Prevention of HIV and Tuberculosis: 2013 update on current and planned research efforts, which was updated in April 2014.

Resource Tracking Activities
In July 2016 at the International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa AVAC collaborated with Funder’s Concerned About AIDS (FCAA) to bring together a group of organizations and individuals who undertake and specialize in resource tracking for funding of HIV and related health priorities. The group was an effort to better collaborate in the area of resource tracking, to share methodological knowledge and to bring together sources of resource tracking information for the field.

The culmination was a session at AIDS 2016 titled, Using Funding Data to Advocate for Global and Domestic Resources in the Critical Push towards the End of AIDS, featuring resource tracking efforts from the Centre for Economic Governance and AIDS in Africa (CEGAA), the Global Forum on MSM and HIV (MSMGF), Treatment Action Group (TAG), Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA) and the Resource Tracking for HIV Prevention research and Development working group.

This session was a follow-up to the initial resource tracking collaboration that took place at AIDS 2012 in Washington, DC entitled, Know Your Resources: How to use funding data to strengthen your messages in the critical push for investing in the end of AIDS.