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 #6

Meet Jonathan Cohen, Director of the Global Public Health Program at Open Society Foundations. Jonathan spoke to amfAR about an opinion piece he wrote for STAT News, where he discussed his decision to publicly disclose his HIV status upon getting a Covid-19 vaccination.

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.






‘Long Haul’ COVID-19 Sufferers Take a Page from AIDS/HIV Activism to be Heard
Los Angeles Times – April 26, 2021
Members of the Body Politic COVID-19 Support Group, created for those with “long COVID,” credit the AIDS epidemic as a useful perspective in efforts to understanding the syndrome.

Four Ways HIV Activists Have Saved Lives During COVID
POZ – April 26, 2021
The four ways HIV activists transformed our response to the global coronavirus pandemic – including expanded access to experimental treatments, faster approvals during public health emergencies, rapid review of research grant applications and community involvement.

Strides Against HIV/AIDS in The U.S. Falter as Resources Diverted to Fight COVID-19
NPR – April 21, 2021
HIV outbreaks are expected to rise as resources have been redirected to the fight against COVID-19 — delaying and sometimes cutting off HIV testing and treatment.

HIV Outbreak in Boston Connected to Coronavirus Pandemic
The Hill – April 21, 2021
An HIV outbreak in Boston among people who inject drugs and lack stable housing has increased to 113 infections — with an additional 13 added between January and February.

Full Contraception Access Is Critical to Defeating HIV
HIV Plus – April 5, 2021
amfAR Public Policy Manager Jennifer Sherwood and Project Coordinator Elise Lankiewicz share why women’s access to birth control and HIV prevention is crucial, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.