HIV VACCINES AND MICROBICIDES RESOURCE TRACKING WORKING GROUP
Sustaining commitment to HIV prevention research in the context of broad global health and development shifts
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In 2013, the reported funding for HIV prevention research and development (R&D) declined by US$50 million, or four percent, compared to 2012, after moderate increases during the past five years in most HIV prevention R&D research areas, resulting in a total of US$1.26 billion. The 2013 decrease can be attributed largely to diminished United States (US) investment in all areas of HIV prevention research, as well as significantly reduced investment in some European countries. Changes in the international development landscape and the evolution of the HIV prevention research pipeline also played a role.
As the largest funder of HIV prevention R&D, the commitment of the US public sector has largely driven global HIV R&D and has shaped trends over the past decade. In the past five years, the US public sector has funded 70 percent of the total global investment in HIV prevention R&D (Figure 2), and in 2013 this percentage remained at 70 percent, US$887 million. However, between 2012 and 2013, US public-sector funding declined nearly US$38 million, or four percent, down from US$925 million in 2012.
European and other public-sector funding also fell in 2013. Investment by public- sector agencies in Europe declined ten percent, from US$86 million in 2012 to US$77 million in 2013. Funding sources across the continent—including Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom (UK)—decreased their support in 2013. Public-sector funding outside of Europe also declined by six percent, from US$69 million in 2012 to US$65 million in 2013.
Investment has declined for HIV prevention options that have proven effective (i.e., voluntary medical adult male circumcision and female condoms), as investments go increasingly towards implementation of these tools. Conversely, investment has increased in support of treatment as prevention (TasP) and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), advancing these into successful implementation phases. Funding for HIV prevention options that are more upstream, such as vaccines and microbicides, is going toward the revitalization of a pipeline that has seen several large trials close out in the last few years. Investment has in part reflected this movement and the nature of funding clinical trials; the discontinuation of immunizations in the HIV Vaccine Trials Network’s HVTN 505 trial, the most recent ongoing AIDS vaccine efficacy trial and the completion of the Microbicide Trial Network’s VOICE study played a role in the decline of investments in 2013.