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AIDS Popularity Leads to Unfair Disease Funding

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    AIDS Popularity Leads to Unfair Disease Funding

    AIDS Popularity Leads to Unfair Disease Funding

    In the race against curing diseases, is it a popularity contest? If you take a look at the funding distributions of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), you'd probably say "without question."

    Whether you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease or not, one can hardly ignore the staggering statistics on disease funding by the NIH. Almost 2.8 billion dollars are going to AIDS research in 2003, while 16 other diseases - which kill many thousands more Americans than AIDS yearly - are only receiving a small fraction of the government's dollars.

    AIDS has become the "in" disease. Support among the Hollywood elite, politicians and the wealthy has become almost a fad.

    The AIDS activists don't want you to know their disease is no longer epidemic in the USA and they continue to press for more funding - and to their credit, their efforts have accomplished phenomenal feats in the fight against AIDS. Just look at the numbers - deaths from AIDS have plummeted 72% in the USA since 1995. That's why it's time to redirect funding to diseases that are more deserving and currently receiving millions, or even billions, less than AIDS.

    For example, diabetes kills more Americans than AIDS and breast cancer combined, yet the NIH is spending $5,500 on every patient identified as having AIDS while spending $70 on each diabetic. And heart disease - which strikes over 700,000 yearly compared to 14,132 from AIDS - receives almost ¾ of a Billion dollars less than AIDS.

    Funding needs to be fair and equitable for all diseases. The NIH must look at prorating funds based on a disease's mortality rate, and as a secondary factor, degree of suffering. The disease that kills the most Americans should get the most research funding, and so on.

    This issue is especially sensitive in our country, which is very tuned into the world of AIDS. But when the AIDS death rate in newly infected patients has dropped 97% in the state of California, it's time to start congratulating AIDS organizations for their successes while shifting research dollars from AIDS to diseases like lung disease, prostate disease, Alzheimer's Disease, brain disease and diabetes.

    To view a list of the 16 diseases that kill more Americans than AIDS, go to

    Deaths per Disease (2001)
    NIH Research Money Spent

    Per Patient Death (2003)

    Heart Disease



    Alzheimer's Disease

    Prostate Disease

    Parkinson's Disease

    Hepatitis C
    NIH Estimate for 2002

    = 10,000-12,000

    West Nile Virus
    In 2002: 284
    In 2003: Zero
    In 2002: $6,737
    In 2003: $ 14 Million,

    (2 cases in 2003)

    Introduction: ProrateNIH was formed because of the inequities in research spending by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that favor AIDS over all other diseases, including the sixteen diseases killing more Americans than AIDS. This site will demonstrate the need to reform the public policies used to determine funding distributions by the National Institutes of Health.

    Our Mission: To establish the proration of NIH research funding based on a disease's mortality rate. If you have a disease that is killing the most Americans, it shall receive the most research monies. If you have a disease that is killing the second largest number of Americans, it shall receive the second largest amount of NIH funding, and so on. Other secondary factors shall also apply to insure diseases that cause great suffering but have lesser mortality rates will also receive increased funding. Only by proration can a fair and equitable distribution of NIH research monies be achieved.
    "Some people say that, the longer you go the better it gets the more you get used to it, I'm actually finding the opposite is true."

    -Christopher Reeve on his Paralysis

    While a quid pro quo approach to research funding may be more fair, it is not a particularly good way of funding research. What NIH has tried to do for many years is to fund where the best science is, where the opportunities lie for making advances are greatest. It is true that AIDS research has received a lion's share of the research funding in this country. Because of this funding, impressive progress has been achieved in controlling this disease. The mortality rate has fallen drastically in the United States and the incidence rate of the disease has declined to due to effective prevention.

    NIAID, the institute that funds most AIDS research, also has the responsibility for much of infectious disease. Recently, it received the largest increase of funding in its history because of bioterrorism research.