The American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) has awarded a total of $75,000 to seven projects in seven African countries, all aimed at combating the AIDS epidemic among the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and men who have sex with men (MSMs).
“There is continuing concern that the social climate in many African countries is increasingly homophobic, so the groups we work with through our men who have sex with men initiative are not only doing vital work, but also very dangerous work.
“We know that HIV and other sexually transmitted infections thrive in these kinds of discriminatory environments, so the work our partners do in Africa is critically important.”
With the exception of a grant for work in South Africa, all the grants will go to countries where homosexual activity is a criminal offense — a situation that tends to deny AIDS prevention services to LGBT people, because they are categorized as criminals.
The grants, which are part of the group’s MSM Initiative, will go to:
Burundi — Mouvement pour les Libertés individuelles, $12,080
Increasing MSM Participation in the Fight Against AIDS in Burundi
The project aims to increase the participation of gay men and other MSM in national HIV/AIDS policy discussions.
Kenya — Health Options for Young Men on HIV, AIDS and STIs, $20,000
Awareness, Capacity Building, and Treatment/Care
The project will provide male sex workers (MSW) living with HIV with HIV preventionand treatment information. These peer educators will in turn perform outreach work among fellow MSW in Nairobi.
Malawi — Center for the Development of People, $20,000
Evidence-Based, Targeted HIV Prevention Project
The project will train peer educators on new and effective HIV prevention methods andwill distribute condoms and lubricant in Lilongwe. Additionally, it will train workers at private and public health centers to provide health care services that are inclusive of MSM health needs.
Sierra Leone — WhyCan’tWeGetMarried.com, $10,000
Breaking Down Taboos and Raising HIV/AIDS Awareness Among MSM
The project will work with MSM and transgender populations to strengthen HIV/AIDS knowledge, distribute condoms and lubricant, and promote HIV testing with street theater techniques.
South Africa — Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action, $15,000
See It, Sign It, Share It! Using Arts to Build Deaf MSM/TG Leadership on HIV Prevention in SA
The project will use an arts-based approach to engage deaf MSM and transgender individuals in addressing HIV issues in the Gauteng Province of South Africa.
Togo — Espoir Vie Togo, $17,456
Ahoefa – The House of Peace
The project will help create the first-ever safe space for LGBT people and other MSM in Togo. Ahoefa – The House of Peace will provide access to psychosocial support, HIV testing and counseling, prevention discussion groups, condoms, and lubricant. The project will also provide financial support for scholarships for deserving students, micro-credit programs, and vocational skills training. EVT will engage policy makers, media representatives, religious leaders, and health care workers in discussions about stigma and homophobia and their effects on HIV vulnerabilities among LGBT people and other MSM.
Uganda — Icebreakers Uganda, $12,500
Icebreakers Uganda MSM Initiative
The project will provide a holistic approach to HIV services for MSM, including HIV education, counseling and testing, and health and rights awareness. Icebreakers will also provide online outreach to MSM who are not able to access the Icebreakers community center. They will train peer leaders to conduct advocacy work with key decision makers, including police officers, to address stigma and discrimination in Uganda.
See amfAR’s website for more details.
- How not to fight AIDS – beat up gays (76crimes.com)
- Cameroon police raid anti-AIDS rights meeting (76crimes.com)
- Uganda: Don’t exclude gay men from AIDS programs (76crimes.wordpress.com)
- Uganda summit excludes gays from discussions of AIDS (76crimes.com)
- Lindsay Lohan: amfAR New York Gala 2012 (justjared.buzznet.com)