The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was created through the merger of the Gates Learning Foundation and the William H. Gates Foundation. The foundation has an endowment of approximately US$25 billion. Among its primary aims are increasing global vaccination rates, developing new vaccines, and helping to bridge the digital divide. It is a major funder of HIV/AIDS research, including the Global Microbicides Project, established in 2000, and HIV/AIDS treatment programmes. {{LINK_LABEL_GO_TO_WEBSITE}}