Global Health:

Trends in U.S. Spending for Global HIV/AIDS and Other Health Assistance in Fiscal Years 2001-2008

GAO-11-64: Published: Oct 8, 2010. Publicly Released: Oct 8, 2010.

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U.S. funding for global HIV/AIDS and other health-related programs rose significantly from 2001 to 2008. The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), reauthorized in 2008 at $48 billion through 2013, has made significant investments in support of prevention of HIV/AIDS as well as care and treatment for those affected by the disease in 31 partner countries and 3 regions. In May 2009, the President proposed spending $63 billion through 2014 on global health programs, including HIV/AIDS, under a new Global Health Initiative. The Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC), at the Department of State (State), coordinates PEPFAR implementation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), among other agencies, implement PEPFAR as well as other global health-related assistance programs, such as maternal and child health, infectious disease prevention, and malaria control, among others. Responding to legislative directives, this report examines U.S. disbursements (referred to as spending) for global HIV/AIDS- and other health-related bilateral foreign assistance programs (including basic health and population and reproductive health programs) in fiscal years 2001-2008. The report also provides information on models used to estimate HIV treatment costs. GAO analyzed U.S. foreign assistance data, reviewed HIV treatment costing models and reports, and interviewed U.S. and UNAIDS officials.

In fiscal years 2001-2008, bilateral U.S. spending for HIV/AIDS and other health-related programs increased overall, most significantly for HIV/AIDS. From 2001 to 2003--before the establishment of PEPFAR--U.S. spending on global HIV/AIDS programs rose while spending on other health programs dropped slightly. From fiscal years 2004 to 2008, HIV/AIDS spending grew steadily; other health-related spending also rose overall, despite declines in 2006 and 2007. As would be expected, U.S. bilateral HIV/AIDS spending showed the most increase in 15 countries--known as PEPFAR focus countries--relative to other countries receiving bilateral HIV/AIDS assistance from fiscal years 2004 through 2008. In addition, GAO's analysis showed that U.S. spending on other health-related bilateral foreign assistance also increased most for PEPFAR focus countries. Spending growth rates varied among three key regions--sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean--as did these regions' shares of HIV/AIDS and other health foreign assistance spending following establishment of PEPFAR. OGAC, USAID, and UNAIDS have adopted three different models to estimate and project antiretroviral therapy (ART) costs. The three models--respectively known as the PEPFAR ART Costing Project Model, the HIV/AIDS Program Sustainability Analysis Tool, and Spectrum--are intended to inform policy and program decisions related, in part, to expanding efforts to provide ART in developing countries.

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