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U.S. News

U.S. Belt Tightening Could Hit AIDS Efforts: Official

February 23, 2005

A tighter 2006 budget for the National Institutes of Health -- the world's largest funder of medical research -- will likely hit HIV vaccine research especially hard, Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Monday.

To curb soaring federal deficits, the Bush administration's 2006 budget calls for a $163 million, or 0.5 percent, increase in NIH's $28.8 billion budget, said Fauci. That compares with a doubling of NIH's overall budget between 1997 and 2003. "Our belt is being tightened for us," he told a news conference at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington.

"Through the years, HIV/AIDS [research funding] has usually done at least as well as and usually better than other diseases," Fauci said. "However, as we now approach '06, '07, '08 and '09, it has become clear that not only will there be a less than 2 percent increase in the NIH budget, that the previous largess that was associated with all research, particularly HIV, is now not going to be a reality for the future."

According to Fauci, his and other NIH institutes have been told to reevaluate their entire research portfolio. That means getting "the most bang for the buck" by working more with private industry and coalitions like the nonprofit International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, he said. Ongoing trials, such as those of HIV vaccine candidates, would have to meet certain criteria to get continued funding or risk getting shut down to focus on more promising research, he said.

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NIAID will also concentrate on areas of overlap and redundancy, for instance with CDC, Fauci said, which may mean cutting back some AIDS vaccine research.

Of the approximately $600 million being spent globally on developing an HIV vaccine, $520 million of that is spent by NIH and around $60 million more is being spent by the U.S. Department of Defense. Groups like IAVI make up the rest.

Back to other news for February 23, 2005

Adapted from:
Reuters
02.21.05; Maggie Fox



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 

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