Giving Compass' Take:

• The Open Philanthropy Project, an effective altruism organization, outlines opportunities for philanthropy to make an impact on HIV through focused, sustained efforts. 

• Do any of these areas align with your philanthropic goals? What organizations are already making an impact in these areas?

• Find out why the world is at risk of losing control of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Global HIV treatment and control is supported by roughly $15 billion in annual funding, but much of the spending in the area may be allocated suboptimally. Because of the amount of money involved, improving the allocation of spending in this area may have a significant humanitarian impact.

A hurdle to improving HIV spending is that there is a shortage of data available on how money is being spent and on which interventions are working. This appears to be because the large funders collect limited data on the effectiveness of their programs and do not share much data on their interventions or on their budgets.

We believe it’s important for philanthropists to make deliberate, long-term commitments to causes (more). The choice of focus area is one of the most important a philanthropist makes.

Possible philanthropic approaches include:

  • Supporting groups that monitor intervention coverage and quality within target countries.
  • Funding the collection of better epidemiological data so that interventions can be targeted more accurately to the demographics or the locations with the highest need.
  • Pushing for specific interventions that are cost-effective and supported by evidence.
  • Running large scale trials to determine and demonstrate which interventions are most effective.
  • Working with countries to help them better allocate the funding they receive from the major funders.
  • Pressuring the HIV community to improve data sharing and to spend money more efficiently. This might involve funding a group like the Center for Global Development to research and write about this issue or donating enough money to a large organization such as the Global Fund to secure a seat on its board.
  • Aiding countries in reallocating HIV-focused vertical funds to approaches that promote health more broadly.

Read the full article about HIV focus areas at Open Philanthropy Project.