Since the start of the epidemic the European Commission has considered HIV/AIDS as a top priority and has significantly invested in HIV/AIDS research. Under the Millennium Development Goals the European Commission has strengthened its efforts to work with the global community to combat HIV/AIDS and significant progress has been made so far.
And in the framework of the EU response to the 2030 agenda of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) the European Commission has further reinforced its commitment to work with the research community and the Member States to reach the specific targets.
Thanks to effective treatments, HIV is no longer a death sentence. Nevertheless, a number of scientific challenges remain. The lack of an effective vaccine or cure, the emergency of drug resistance, complications in the course of the infection because of long-term treatment, co-infections and co-morbidities are among these challenges which require innovative solutions and long-term commitments. With its investment in research and innovation for HIV/AIDS, the European Commission is increasing the chances for the community to provide solutions to the challenges while fully exploiting the European Scientific excellence and enhancing European competitiveness.
HIV/AIDS research under Horizon 2020
HIV/AIDS research continues to be supported under Horizon 2020. In the first years of the programme a total EC contribution of 129 million EUR has been committed. Most of the funds comes from the Societal Challenge 1: Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing, including includes 45 million EUR on two large platforms for the development of a preventive or therapeutic vaccine as well as a 10million EUR loan from the InnovFin ID instrument to develop a high-throughput HIV viral load test and 61 million EUR of EC contribution to the EDCTP2 grants.
HIV/AIDS research under FP7
During the 7th Framework Programme for Research (FP7-2007-2013), over €175m was invested by the EU, of which €135m to support 28 collaborative research and innovation projects to fight HIV/AIDS. These projects tackled basic understanding of the disease, product development, and clinical management.
The outcome of this investment resulted in more than a dozen new drugs or vaccine candidates in pre- or early clinical development; the creation of a large network of different cohorts with data from over 350.000 HIV+ individuals, completion of studies for new drugs formulations for pediatric use and the generation of in-vitro and in-vivo models to study HIV latency and persistence. Many more results have been generated by FP7-funded projects (some of which are still ongoing and further results are expected in the near future), as well as hundreds of scientific publications and several patents files.