Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The AIDS epidemic is now a decade old, and for biomedical research it has been a momentous decade. AIDS and the hysteria it has engendered have changed more than just the behavior patterns of people whose behavior puts them at risk - they have changed the way biomedical research is funded, at least in the United States where a third or more of the world's biomedical research is done. Growth in financial support for AIDS research from the U.S. government has been explosive by the standards of the field, recently passing expenditures for heart disease and now approaching that of cancer, the funding leader. This level of funding has been achieved partly with new money and partly by redirection of funds that normally would have gone to expand other research areas or offset inflation. As a result it appears to practitioners in other fields that there are sufficient funds only to continue ongoing, highly productive projects. If anyone has a bright new idea in biomedical research, it had better be in one of the AIDS areas, or it's chances of getting funded are slim. While AIDS is a terrible disease for its victims and a financial threat to the health care delivery system in some local areas, it does not justify the present distribution of research funding. Heart and cardiovascular disease is a particularly striking example. Government research funding for AIDS is now almost twice that for heart disease despite the fact that as many Americans die of heart disease in 6 weeks as have
Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.