Charities run a variety of programs to stop and slow the spread of HIV/AIDS. These programs vary in effectiveness (some have a strong track record of success and some don't) and cost-effectiveness (some can prevent a case of HIV/AIDS for around $150; others cost $150 to just treat, not cure HIV/AIDS for 1 year).

HIV/AIDS programs are just a useful illustration of a fact that cuts across charities working in many different areas. Variation in effectiveness and cost-effectiveness occurs in a wide variety of sectors, from other global health programs to charities focused on reducing poverty or increasing equality in the United States. Your choice of charity makes a huge difference to the impact you ultimately achieve with your donation.

What do you get for your dollar? An overview of charities running HIV/AIDS programs

The table below provides information on four HIV/AIDS charities that met our criteria for a deeper investigation. We also considered seven other charities that work on HIV/AIDS but none met our initial criteria.

Charity Activities Impact Cost-effectiveness More information
Population Services International Approximately 50% of activities devoted to HIV/AIDS prevention, largely condom promotion and distribution Prevents cases of HIV/AIDS Good. $550-2,240 per case of HIV/AIDS averted Charity review
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria Approximately 50% of activities focused on HIV/AIDS. Includes drug treatment with anti-retroviral therapy (ART) Delays deaths from HIV/AIDS Poor. $130-550 per year of treatment provided Charity review
Partners in Health Provides primary care. Focuses heavily on providing drug treatment with anti-retroviral therapy (ART) Delays deaths from HIV/AIDS Poor. $130-550 per year of treatment provided Charity review
None Prevention of mother-to-child transmission Prevents cases of HIV/AIDS Excellent. $150-$300 per case of HIV/AIDS averted Program review
mothers2mothers Peer support groups Unclear if any Unclear if effective Charity review



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