FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Joana Casas, Program Communications Manager
(Este artículo está disponible en español)
amfAR Grants Community Awards in Latin America to Reduce Impact of HIV Among Key Populations
Urges use of emerging HIV prevention technologies to help curb transmission among gay men, other men who have sex with men, and transgender individuals
NEW YORK, January 24, 2014 – In an effort to address the HIV epidemic among at-risk populations in Latin America, amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, on Friday announced a new round of grants that will help prevent HIV infection and expand access to treatment and care among gay men, other men who have sex with men (MSM), and transgender individuals – collectively known as “GMT.”
With financial support from the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the new awards will help nine front-line organizations working with communities most at risk for HIV – and whose involvement is most essential for a successful HIV response – implement outreach, prevention, and treatment efforts in a region that currently has 1.5 million people living with HIV/AIDS.
“Gay men, other MSM and transgender individuals continue to experience high levels of stigma and discrimination in Latin America, which deters them from coming forward for HIV testing or regular health care,” said Kent Klindera, director of amfAR’s GMT Initiative. “We simply cannot ignore the GMT population if we want to eliminate HIV and achieve an AIDS-free generation.”
Totaling more than $177,000, the awards will support a range of interventions that increase access to HIV prevention and treatment for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Most of the projects will help community organizations increase access to healthcare for transgender individuals and improve their quality of care. Little evidence exists on the effectiveness of HIV prevention strategies for this population, which is at particularly high risk of HIV infection.
Funded projects include creating a health center for transgender individuals in Bolivia where HIV testing and STI prevention services will be offered; provision of HIV prevention and treatment services and educational materials for indigenous transgender populations in Panama and Mexico; a study of attitudes, behaviors and sexual health practices of transgender women and their partners in Argentina; and assistance in training healthcare workers and other community leaders to reduce stigma and improve health access for GMT in Honduras, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela.
See the full list of the GMT Initiative’s latest round of community awards in Latin America.
Recognizing recent research advances that have contributed to more effective strategies for preventing HIV, amfAR recently developed a series of fact sheets on emerging HIV prevention technologies that community organizations can use in their efforts to reduce the impact of HIV among GMT. The fact sheets, available in English, Spanish, and French, focus on post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), screening and preventing HPV, genital warts and anal cancer, and the HIV treatment cascade, a system used to monitor the proportion of individuals living with HIV who are receiving treatment.
“We hope that these fact sheets will help GMT populations in Latin America become better informed about the importance of these new biomedical approaches to preventing HIV,” added Klindera.
Since 2007, amfAR’s GMT Initiative (formerly The MSM Initiative) has made 254 awards totaling more than US$4.6 million to support 173 frontline organizations serving gay men, other men who have sex with men (MSM), and transgender individuals (collectively “GMT”) in 81 countries.
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested more than $366 million in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide. For more information, please visit www.amfar.org.
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