HIV Spending as a Share of Total Health Expenditure: An Analysis of Regional Variation in a Multi-Country StudyReport as inadecuate

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HIV has devastated numerous countries in sub-Saharan Africa and is a dominant health force in many other parts of the world. Its undeniable importance is reflected in the establishment of Millennium Development Goal No. 6. Unprecedented amounts of funding have been committed and disbursed over the past two decades. Many have argued that this enormous influx of funding has been detrimental to building stronger health systems in recipient countries. This paper examines the funding share for HIV measured against the total funding for health.

Methodology-Principal Findings

A descriptive analysis of HIV and health expenditures in 2007 from 65 countries was conducted. Comparable data from individual countries was used by applying a consistent definition for HIV expenditures and total health expenditures from NHAs to align them with National AIDS Assessment Reports. In 2007, the total public and international expenditure in LMICs for HIV was 1.6 percent of the total spending on health, while the share in SSA was 19.4 percent. HIV prevalence was six-fold higher in SSA than the next highest region and it is the only region whose share of HIV spending exceeded the burden of HIV DALYs.


The share of HIV spending across the 65 countries was quite moderate considering that the estimated share of deaths attributable to HIV stood at 3.8 percent and DALYs at 4.4 percent. Several high spending countries are using a large share of their total health spending for HIV health, but these countries are the exception rather than representative of the average SSA country. There is wide variation between regions, but the burden of disease also varies significantly. The percentage of HIV spending is a useful indicator for better understanding health care resources and their allocation patterns.

Author: Peter Amico, Christian Aran, Carlos Avila



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