amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research


amfAR Announces New Grants for COVID-19 Research

We are pleased to announce two new research grants awarded through the amfAR Fund to Fight COVID-19. One grant will support a study of the risks for “long-haulers”—those who continue to experience debilitating symptoms long after clearing infection—who are living with HIV. The other one will support a study of the effect of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, on the HIV reservoir. You can read about the grants here.

Expanding our efforts to include research on the deadly new coronavirus, in April we established the amfAR Fund to Fight COVID-19. The fact is, amfAR is uniquely positioned to participate in the all-out effort to develop effective treatments and a vaccine for the coronavirus. However, we remain fully committed to HIV research and to finding a cure for the 38 million people worldwide living with HIV. All money donated for HIV research will stay in HIV research, whereas all donations to this special fund will be earmarked for research on COVID-19. In these challenging times, we are especially grateful for your generous support. 

Frequently Asked Questions.




When COVID-19 first emerged, there were good reasons to imagine that people living with HIV (PWH) might be at either increased, or decreased, risk due to their HIV infection or its treatment. What was needed were facts, so amfAR’s Vice President and Director of Research Dr. Rowena Johnston set out to analyze the outcomes in every reported case during the first six months of the pandemic.


Participants Sought for COVID-19 Vaccine Follow-Up Study

Right now, an important question for people living with HIV is whether their immune system responses to COVID vaccines differ from the general population. A new study led by a team of researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine aims to answer that question.


Please visit to learn more and enroll.


In this new video interview series, we speak with people living with HIV about their experience of COVID-19.


Connections #2

Tom Perrault and Sal Giambanco discuss their experience of COVID-19 and the parallels between COVID and HIV. Tom also talks about his participation in an amfAR clinical trial aimed at “training” the body to control HIV without antiretroviral medication.

Watch now on YouTube.

Watch the full Connections series here.




In this series of short videos, Dr. Rowena Johnston, amfAR VP and Director of Research, talks to HIV researchers about their involvement in the fight against COVID-19.  We’ll be adding new interviews regularly so check this page often. 

episode 8   

Intersections #8: HIV and COVID-19 – DNA Vaccine

amfAR-funded HIV researcher Dr. Dan Barouch of Harvard Medical School talks to amfAR’s Dr. Rowena Johnston about his team’s efforts to rapidly develop a safe and effective vaccine against the coronavirus.

Watch the full Intersections series here.



By the numbers





Assessing the Impact of Covid-19 on Black Americans
New amfAR study finds that while disproportionately black counties make up just 22% of all US counties, they account for 52% and 58% of COVID-19 cases and deaths, respectively.


Policy Responses: Parallels Between HIV and COVID-19 

amfAR’s Vice President & Director of Public Policy Greg Millett recently spoke on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s forum on parallels between government responses to HIV and COVID-19. Millett presented COVID-19 data from amfAR’s Ending the HIV Epidemic database, updated daily:

ISSUE BRIEF: Violence Crisis Services During Lockdown

amfAR assesses GBV service availability during COVID-19 lockdown in South Africa.






Why It’s So Hard to Make Antiviral Drugs for COVID and Other Diseases
Scientific American – February 11, 2021
A deep dive into the difficulties of inventing antiretrovirals and why so few exist. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease physician at the University of California, San Francisco shared how HIV research has “set the tone.”

2 Tennesseans Named to Biden’s COVID Equity Task Force
Associated Press – February 11, 2021
James Hildreth, an immunologist whose work has focused on HIV, was appointed to President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. He is currently President and CEO of the historically Black Meharry Medical College.

 This Group of Workers Could Help Turnaround Quality of Life -- and the Economy
CNN – February 10, 2021
amfAR's Senior Policy and Medical Advisor, Dr. Susan Blumenthal, co-authored a new op-ed on an “overlooked workforce” – Community Health Workers. She wrote that the U.S. must focus on hiring CHWs and deploy them in evidence-based ways to respond to COVID-19 and form the basis of a long-term health workforce.

 COVID-19 May Pose Greater Risk for People Living With HIV
Healthline – February 10, 2021
Additional coverage on the new study that suggests that people living with HIV may be more likely to contract, be hospitalized, and die from COVID-19.

 It’s Not the ‘British Variant.’ It’s B.1.1.7
STAT News – February 9, 2021
A look at the problematic history of labeling viral variants by their geographic origin, drawing a connection to HIV being labeled as “gay cancer.” Much like the geography-based variants, the label targeted a very specific demographic.


Click here to read the news archive.