Cub Barrett, Program Communications Manager
First Round of Awards Made Through amfAR’s GMT Initiative Combat HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
NEW YORK, October 18, 2012—amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS
Research, on Thursday announced a new round of grants aimed at reducing the
spread and impact of HIV among gay men, other men who have sex with men (MSM),
and transgender individuals—collectively known as “GMT.” The Foundation this
week renamed its MSM Initiative to reflect the diversity of populations being
served by the program. The new initiative will also integrate a more strategic
focus that capitalizes on recent advances in the science of reducing HIV
vulnerability among GMT.
The seven awards, which range from $8,000 and $20,000, will
go to community-led groups working with GMT across Eastern Europe and Central
See the full list of amfAR’s fifth round of Eastern Europe and Central Asia community awards made through its GMT Initiative.
"The new name of our initiative better reflects the kind of
work we’ve been funding for several years: projects that curb the HIV/AIDS
epidemic among GMT, not just MSM,” said GMT Initiative Director Kent Klindera.
“These seven awards showcase the many different ways our partners engage with
GMT across Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and the fact that five of the seven
groups are receiving amfAR funding for at least the second time shows that
their projects are having a real impact.”
Since July 2007, amfAR’s MSM Initiative has made 184
Community Awards totaling more than US$3.3 million to support 140 frontline
organizations serving GMT individuals in 72 countries.
Some of the newly funded projects reflect the increased role
of advocacy among GMT Initiative grant recipients. For example, for the second
year, Tanadgoma—Center for Information and Counseling on Reproductive Health in
Tbilisi, Georgia, is working with partners in the South Caucasus to increase
understanding of transgender individuals’ needs in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and
Georgia through personal interviews. The resulting reports will be used to
advocate for increased access to quality HIV prevention, treatment, and care
services for transgender individuals.
Another funded project will also focus on advocacy and
systems change. In its second year as an amfAR grantee, Kyrgyz Indigo in
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, will continue to implement programs serving ethnic Kyrgyz
GMT and will embark on a new project with the goal of increasing sexual health
and personal safety skills for GMT. Additionally, the project will promote
tolerance among members of the military and police, as well as government
officials and the media.
“The GMT Initiative is committed to not only helping to curb
the spread of HIV/AIDS through local efforts, but also working with larger
institutions like the government and police to help change attitudes and
educate them about vulnerable populations,” Klindera said. “We’re proud of our
grantees for having the vision to both work with their local populations while
also focusing on the larger picture.”
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 $340
million in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research