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 #5

Xio Mora-Lopez is a medical technologist, Board Member of Buddies of New Jersey, and a long-term survivor who contracted HIV after an accidental needle stick in 1993. In this episode, Xio shares her story, her insights, and her narrow escape from COVID-19.

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.






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.

The City Losing Its Children to HIV
The New York Times Magazine – March 31, 2021
The diversion of resources from HIV to COVID-19 has inevitably affected the most vulnerable, demonstrated by this report on a pediatric outbreak in a remote Pakistan city. According to UNAIDS, there are an estimated 190,000 HIV positive people in the country, and only 12% of them receive treatment.

Scaling Up Covid-19 Vaccination in Africa
New England Journal of Medicine – March 31, 2021
The authors of a new perspective for NEJM share how health infrastructure, local epidemiology, and responsiveness to local concerns and beliefs are critical for ending the Covid-19 pandemic — in Africa and globally.

How COVID-19 Restrictions Impacted NSW HIV Rates
Sydney Morning Herald – March 29, 2021
According to a new report from NSW’s latest HIV Strategy, the number of new HIV cases in NSW Australia plummeted last year by more than 30%. This is said to be due to due to COVID-19 restrictions that triggered a decline in casual sex.

A Vaccine For My Shame
STAT News – March 26, 2021
Jonathan Cohen, Director of Open Society Health, describes how receiving the COVID-19 vaccine prepared him to share his HIV positive status with the world.