Bill Gates’ $2 Billion Donation to Gates Foundation Raises Speculation of Global AIDS Fund Contribution
Bill Gates has contributed an additional $2 billion to his charity, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to fund research and other initiatives aimed at halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and other diseases in the developing world. The Wall Street Journal reports that the donation has "increased speculation about the role the foundation may play at the United Nations' General Assembly special session on HIV/AIDS, since both Gates and his wife support U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's proposal of a global fund to fight HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria. A Gates Foundation spokesperson, however, said that the contribution is "unrelated to the activity at the United Nations" and added that "no decisions had been made about how to best support Mr. Annan's efforts." Gordon Perkin, director of the foundation's global health program, said the foundation is "unlikely to make a direct donation to the fund, but is discussing several new initiatives that might complement the U.N. effort." Such efforts include providing funding for increased microbicide research and a plan to offer debt relief to developing nations to "enable them to increase their anti-AIDS funding." Gates met with Annan in March to "urge" him to "create a central framework through which governments could increase their funding for AIDS prevention and treatment." The Gates Foundation, which has an endowment of $23 billion, has already committed about $300 million toward AIDS prevention efforts, including more than $125 million for the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (Bank, Wall Street Journal, 6/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.