For Immediate Release
Cub Barrett, Program Communications
NEW YORK, January 17, 2012—As men who have sex with men
(MSM) and transgender individuals in many parts of the world face increasing
levels of homophobic rhetoric and violence, amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS
Research on Tuesday announced a fourth round of Latin America community awards
made through its MSM Initiative, designed to support frontline groups working
directly with local MSM and transgender populations.
The 12 Latin America awards, which will provide funding for HIV/AIDS
awareness, prevention, testing, and treatment services, range from more than
$10,000 to $20,000 each. These awards have been made possible by a generous gift
from the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
See the full list of amfAR’s fourth round of Latin America community awards made through its MSM Initiative
“We’re thrilled to work with such a great group of frontline organizations
that are doing such vital work all over Latin America, including two groups
we’re continuing to work with because of the impact they’ve already had in their
communities,” said MSM Initiative Director Kent Klindera. “It’s still extremely
difficult—and often dangerous—to conduct this kind of work in many parts of
Latin America, and the work these 12 groups do is vital to curbing the spread of
HIV/AIDS in the region.”
Funded projects include a comprehensive study of available health services
and resources available to gay men, other MSM, and transgender individuals in
three cities in Chile; an effort in Honduras to amend the Honduran Special Law
on HIV to include protection for all citizens regardless of sexual orientation
or gender identity; and an advocacy project, led by and for transgender women,
to improve access to HIV services for transgender individuals in three cities in
Two of the groups are receiving MSM Initiative awards for the second time to
help them continue their work. Members of SOMOSGAY in Asuncion, Paraguay, will
use the continued funding to help them increase voluntary counseling and testing
services for gay men, other MSM, and transgender people in and around Asuncion,
as well as treatment services and referrals to follow-up care. The other group,
Grupo Genesis Panama Positivo (GGP+) in Panama City, Panama, will use its second
round of funding to improve follow-up care services and case management by peer
leaders for MSM in Panama City.
“The work that these two groups continue to do with MSM Initiative funding
exemplifies a main goal of the program: empowering local leaders to take their
community’s health into their own hands,” Klindera said.
Since its inception in 2007, amfAR’s MSM Initiative has made 161 community
awards totaling more than US$3 million to support 117 frontline organizations
serving MSM and transgender individuals in 66 countries. Awards have been made
in low- and middle-income countries in five regions of the world: Africa,
Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe/Central Asia, and Latin America.
“As the groups we fund help collect vital data and conduct outreach to
populations that are often ignored in the fight against HIV/AIDS, we’re
confident that amfAR’s MSM Initiative is making a difference in the overall
epidemic,” said amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost. “amfAR is proud of its grassroots
partner organizations for helping us reach MSM and transgender individuals in
ways that are having a real impact.”
Studies show that the need for such work is vital: A 2007 analysis of data
from 38 low- and middle-income countries showed that MSM are 19 times more
likely to be infected with HIV than the general population. These rates are
consistent across the globe, even in African nations that have generalized
epidemics. Yet according to United Nations estimates, by late 2007, a mere eight
percent of MSM had been reached by comprehensive HIV prevention programs. No
reliable data exists on transgender individuals, but it is expected that HIV
rates are even higher for this population.
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 nearly $325 million
in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams
Latin America Community Awards 2011–2012
SOMOSGAY (Asunción, Paraguay) – $20,000
Fijo y Móvil de Conserjería y Testeo Voluntario en Asunción.
is a continuation of past amfAR funding to increase voluntary counseling and
testing services to gay men, MSM and transgender people in and around Asuncion,
as well as treatment services and referrals for follow-up care. These health
services will be available at an MSM/transgender-specific community health
center, as well as through a mobile testing unit. SOMOSGAY will also work to
provide information on the intersections between health and human rights to
clients at their community health center.
Movimiento por la Diversidad
Sexual, MUMS (Santiago, Chile) – $20,000
Incidencia en los tomadores de
Decisiones para la Mejora de los presupuestos y políticas publicas de Prevención
en VIH/SIDA en Gays, Trans y otros HSH en Chile.
This advocacy project will
assess and document the current situation regarding health services and
resources available to gay men, MSM, and transgender people in three cities in
Chile. Through a series of workshops, MUMS will empower and build capacity
among their members on effective advocacy and policy strategies, in order to
advocate with key policy makers, other decision makers and the general public on
improved and sustained HIV/STI prevention and treatment for gay men, MSM, and
transgender people. MUMS will motivate their members to utilize various advocacy
strategies, including radio programs, social networking, media campaigns and
Grupo Génesis Panamá Positivo (GGP+) (Panamá City, Panamá) –
Comprehensive Care to Gay Men and MSM in the
Metropolitan Region of Panama.
This project is a continuation of past amfAR
funding to improve follow-up care services and case management by peer leaders
for MSM in Panama City. GGP+ will also promote treatment adherence, as well as
provide support groups for HIV+ individuals. Additionally, GGP+ will work to
increase testing and counseling services to other gay men and MSM who do not yet
know their HIV status.
Red nacional de Mujeres Travestis, Transgéneros y Transexuales de
Bolivia (RED TREBOL) (Cochabamba, Bolivia) – $20,000
Universal para población Trans que se dedica al trabajo Sexual.
Led by and
for transgender women, this advocacy project will improve access to health
services and centers, treatment, and prevention for HIV and STIs for transgender
and transgender sex workers in La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz, Bolivia. RED
TREBOL will engage local authorities and medical professionals, informing them
of the needs of transgender and transgender sex workers, as well as promoting
active participation of transgender women to become decision makers and leaders,
defenders of human rights and activists against transphobia.
San Martinense Diversity Association (DISAM) (Tarapoto, Peru) –
Concertando Diversidades para La Prevención de VIH y
Promover Derechos Humanos para HSH en la Región San Martín.
service and advocacy project will identify barriers and opportunities in
accessing health services in three districts in San Martin province, Peru. Based
on the results of an initial situational analysis, DISAM will work with health
professionals to bridge the gaps in health services for gay men, MSM, and
transgender people, thereby increasing uptake of health services. Additionally,
DISAM will work with gay men, MSM, and transgender individuals to build
leadership and advocacy skills by increasing their self-esteem and knowledge of
human rights issues.
ALFIL Association, HGLBT, Identities in Dialogue (Quito, Ecuador)
Medical, Psychological and HIV/AIDS Prevention for
MSM. This direct service project will provide basic sexual health services
for gay men, MSM, and transgender people at the ALFIL community center, as well
as HIV testing and counseling services, support services for people living with
HIV, prevention information, and referrals for medical follow-up. Emphasis will
be placed on addressing risk factors that may lead to HIV transmission for MSM
and transgender populations. All services will be promoted and implemented by
Centro de Desarrollo e Investigación sobre Juventud, A.C. (Campeche,
México) – $15,615
Reaching young Mayan Indian Men who have Sex
This direct service intervention aims to empower young gay Mayan
men through information on HIV prevention, sexual health discussions and
interviews, and self-efficacy strategies tailored to an indigenous population
context. The project will also generate evidence for effective HIV prevention
programs for young indigenous gay populations.
Fundación Llanto, Valor y Esfuerzo (LLAVES) (San Pedro Sula,
Honduras) – $19,450
Increased Participation of Trans People in
Public Policies on HIV/AIDS.
This advocacy project will work closely with
decision makers to amend the Honduran Special Law on HIV to include protection
for all citizens regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. LLAVES
will train and empower key transgender leaders to become educated in policy,
law, and human rights. Additionally, LLAVES will work with local media on issues
of HIV, human rights, and sexual diversity.
Asociación Silueta X (Guayaquil, Ecuador) –
Analysis of Factors that Increase HIV Transmission and
Discrimination among Transgender Individuals.
community-led research project will analyze the assets and needs of transgender
populations, focusing on access to health services, education, employment, and
the linkage between HIV transmission and human rights violations.
Colectivo Ovejas Negras (Montevideo, Uruguay) –
HIV and Health Services for MSM and Transgender
Individuals in Uruguay.
This direct service and policy project will
evaluate Uruguayan public health and social service strategies to create a
profile of the epidemic amongst MSM and transgender populations in Uruguay. The
project expects to develop recommendations for best practices and input for
future government- and civil society-run activities and interventions for MSM
and transgender individuals.
Asociación Solidaria para Impulsar el Desarrollo Humano (ASPI-DH ARCO
IRIS) (San Salvador, El Salvador) – $20,000
This advocacy project will confront homophobic/transphobic stigma
and discrimination in health services, addressing barriers to health access and
challenging key decision makers in health service delivery. ASPIDH will certify
12 health centers as being “stigma- and discrimination-free centers” and will
host special events at these centers to promote and encourage increased health
services for MSM and transgender individuals.
Asociación Civil de Diversidad Sexual de la Región Callao (Alma
Chalaca) (Bahía, Perú) – $10,985
Alma Chalaca: Innovative
Workshops by and for MSM/Transgender PEPs in Lima/Callao, Peru.
Chalaca aims to provide 40 workshops created by and for gay men, other MSM, and
transgender individuals to educate their peers about HIV and STI prevention and
promote healthy living, leadership skills, and human rights awareness.
Additionally, the peers will develop a website and informational materials. The
second phase of the project will involve working closely with political leaders
and medical professionals to include them in the dialogue and create strategic