Overall Funding in 2019
Total investment in HIV biomedical prevention R&D in 2019 remained mostly unchanged from the previous year at US$1.14 billion. This reverses the upward swing observed in 2018 and continues the post-2012 trend of either declining or flat funding. Investment levels varied by prevention technology. Funding increased for preventive HIV vaccines, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and female condoms; investment in all other evaluated technology categories declined from the previous year. For a detailed breakdown of the investment by technology category, please see this section.
Mirroring past trends, 80 percent of global funding originated from the public sector at US$919 million, with the US contributing 94.6 percent of the total. European investments declined significantly, coming in at US$41 million in 2019—representing four percent of all public funding (see details below). Investments from all other countries came in at US$5.3 million, or one percent of overall public funding. Philanthropic investment decreased by three percent to US$158 million or 14 percent of total global funding, and commercial investments fell by five percent to US$71 million or 16 percent of the total. The only multilateral involved in HIV R&D, The World Bank Group, contributed investment figures in 2019 at US$2.5 million. The World Bank did not contribute to this report in the previous year, so this number does not represent an increase or decrease.
What are the historic and current trends for investment in HIV prevention R&D?
European public sector funding decreased by 29 percent from 2018 and, at US$41 million, is the lowest figure for European funding recorded in the last decade and a far cry from peak funding of US$124 million in 2009. Excluding R&D for treatment as prevention (TasP), which had a modest increase of US$0.8 million, European public investment in vaccines, microbicides, prevention of vertical transmission and PrEP declined by 22 percent, 33 percent, 12 percent and 71 percent, respectively. Furthermore, female condoms and VMMC lost all European investment in 2019.
Global philanthropic funding levels dipped in 2019, falling to US$158 million. While still the largest donor, accounting for 92 percent of all sector funding, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) lowered its contributions by 3 percent to US$145 million.The majority of BMGF investment was directed towards vaccines (69 percent) and PrEP (23 percent), with smaller disbursements for VMMC (five percent), microbicides (two percent) and prevention of vertical transmission (one percent). While the overwhelming majority of philanthropic funding originated from the US, European philanthropies like Institut Pasteur, Aidsfonds and the Swiss National Science Foundation continue to reliably fund HIV prevention and cure R&D.
Commercial funding for HIV prevention R&D decreased by five percent from 2018, falling to US$70.6 million. The Working Group evaluated funding from 10 companies, but commercial R&D investments likely far exceed what the Working Group has been able to review. Among commercial contributions the Working Group has evaluated, all areas of HIV prevention R&D have steadily increased for several years, as industry has played a larger role not only in product development, but also in providing funding and expertise for implementation and rollout.