amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

2014 GMT Initiative Community Awards


Communities in Action Awards: Africa


Alternatives-Cameroun (Douala, Cameroon)  $20,000
Project Access Extended 2014

[5th Year Funding] Alternatives will integrate peer-led strategies with clinical services to increase LGBT individuals’ access to HIV prevention, care, and treatment in Douala. Alternatives will mobilize their peer educators across the city to hold discussions on HIV/AIDS and STI prevention and treatment, while also promoting the services at its Access Center to increase the patient roster. In addition to the comprehensive medical services offered at the Access Center, Alternatives will offer mobile testing and organize testing awareness days to reach a broader number of LGBT through HIV testing.  

Action Humanitaire Pour la Santé et le Développement Communautaire (AHUSADEC) (Bukavu, DRC) – $20,000   
HIV Prevention and Testing for GMT and Capacity Building at the Testing Center in Bukavu

[2nd Year Funding] AHUSADEC will improve their referral system for GMT-friendly public healthcare centers in Bukavu to improve GMT’s ability to access health services and HIV testing and treatment, and will empower GMT sex workers by providing HIV prevention information. In addition, AHUSADEC will host training workshops for healthcare workers at the GMT-friendly testing centers to ensure a stigma-free environment. Finally, AHUSADEC will launch a media campaign addressing these issues.

Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO), in partnership with Botswana Network on Ethics, the Law and AIDS (BONELA) (Gaborone, Botswana)  $20,000
Creating Safe Spaces for Gay Men, other MSM, and Transgendered Individuals

[2nd Year Funding] LEGABIBO will increase access to HIV/STI prevention, testing, treatment, and care services by opening an LGBT-specific “Safe Space” that offers social support and HIV/STI clinical services on a weekly basis. The group will also engage the greater LGBT community to document incidences of stigma and discrimination in public health and other social service settings. The data will be used to inform and implement healthcare provider trainings on LGBT-specific health, increase the number of LGBT support groups throughout Botswana, and inform efforts to advocate for the inclusion of LGBT issues in public sector HIV/STI prevention, treatment, and care programs, and in policies at the local and national levels.

Men Against AIDS Youth Group (MAAYGO) (Kisumu, Kenya) – $20,000
Integration of HIV/STI Care, Treatment and Support Services among Gay Men, MSM, and Transgender (GMT) Community in Kisumu County

[2nd Year Funding] MAAYGO will integrate behavioral, biomedical, and structural interventions to strengthen HIV testing, treatment, and care services for GMT. After conducting mapping exercises to locate GMT-friendly health services, MAAYGO will use community-centered strategies to encourage GMT to get tested for HIV and then ensure same day antiretroviral therapy (ARV) enrollment and adherence counseling for those who test positive. For those living with HIV, MAAYGO will offer patient navigation services and secure psychosocial support for their friends and family. MAAYGO will also advocate for more GMT-friendly health and welfare services and continue to promote economic independence for GMT living with HIV through job skills trainings and a GMT-focused micro-credit program.

Health Options for Young Men with HIV, AIDS and STIs (HOYMAS) (Nairobi, Kenya) – $20,000
Increased Comprehensive HIV Services, ARV Support and Adherence, and Career Development
For Gay Male Sex Workers in Kenya

[3rd Year Funding] HOYMAS will increase uptake and availability of HIV services for gay male sex workers and ensure access to ARV support services for those living with HIV. HOYMAS will also continue its comprehensive program providing psychosocial support, nutrition advice, adherence counseling, and economic empowerment activities through its home-based care center and its “encounter groups” support group sessions. In addition, HOYMAS will conduct advocacy activities with government officials, donor representatives, and other stakeholders, and organize community awareness events for HOYMAS members.

MEN’S (Lomé, Togo) – $20,000

[2nd Year Funding] MEN’S will continue their national advocacy strategy promoting the increased representation of GMT-related issues in Togo’s National AIDS Program by organizing high-level meetings with key government leaders on inclusive human rights and HIV policies for GMT in Togo. MEN’S will also set up a micro-finance program that will train GMT on job skills to promote innovative ideas for economic independence. The group will also work to increase objective and positive media reporting on GMT and instruct the GMT community on health- and rights-based issues. Finally, MEN’S will document the discrimination faced in healthcare settings by GMT on a national scale to generate a report that will be used to improve health services for GMT.


Communities in Action Awards: Latin America


Asociación de Travestis, Transexuales, y Transgeneros de Argentina Asociación Civil (ATTTA) (Buenos Aires, Argentina) – $19,886
Decrease  Barriers to HIV Care in Trans Populations and Evaluate Innovative Prevention Technologies
ATTTA will conduct a survey on attitudes, behaviors, and practices regarding sexual health and HIV prevention and risks for 180 trans women and 40 of their stable partners in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The survey results will be used to establish baseline behavioral data to inform policies and programs for trans women. In addition, ATTTA will establish baseline HIV prevalence data by offering rapid HIV testing and counseling to all clients seeking services at their mobile health unit. The group will also evaluate the acceptability of these services, and refer all those with positive results directly to partner clinics.

Red Nacional de Mujeres Travestis, Transexuales y Transgeneros de Bolivia (RED TREBOL) (Cochabamba, Bolivia) – $20,000
Trans-Friendly Health Center
RED TREBOL will use its third consecutive grant from amfAR to create the first trans-specific health center in Cochabamba. RED TREBOL will establish a physical space for the clinic and begin to train peer educators to promote the clinic and its services and distribute referrals for the clinic to create demand. A medical team that currently provides services for RED TREBOL at their mobile unit program with the Global Fund will offer HIV testing and counseling, hormones and hormonal guidance, STI prevention and treatment services, and mental health services at the clinic. 

Asociación Silueta X (Guayaquil, Ecuador) – $19,980
Improving Access to Health Services for Transgender People in Ecuador
Silueta X will actively engage the local government and health authorities to create or improve holistic health services for trans individuals in public clinics and to ensure the authorities’ sustained and active participation in the project. Silueta X will also strive to create a model for trans health that can be replicated across Guayaquil by working with the government and health authorities through a series of roundtables and meetings to extend training, workshops, and education to clinics across the city. Peers working with Silueta X will be trained throughout the life of the project to assist in these meetings and trainings.

Asociación Colectivo Violeta (ACV) (Tegucigalpa, Honduras) – $20,000
Quality Care in Health Services for the LGBT Population in Honduras
ACV will use this amfAR grant to improve health services for GMT in two central public health clinics in Tegucigalpa frequented by the population. ACV will survey GMT on their perceptions of current services in order to determine the gaps and services in need of improvement, and will also perform a needs assessment of healthcare workers in order to improve service delivery. Based on the results, ACV will train 30 healthcare workers to reduce stigma and improve health access. In addition, ACV will document cases of discrimination or poor service delivery and synthesize the findings in a report they will share with the government and health authorities.

Centro de Desarrollo e Investigación sobre Juventud, A.C. (Campeche, Mexico) – $18,000
Strengthening Community Sexual Health Services for Indigenous Mayan Transgender Women: 2.0
CDIJ will use their third grant from amfAR to develop a training for healthcare providers in Campeche, Mexico to help them improve HIV-related service delivery for indigenous trans individuals, and thereby increase the rates of HIV testing and treatment. The group will also train GMT leaders to improve HIV prevention knowledge among the indigenous trans community. CDIJ will create quality controls with simulated patients and combine this data with interviews from beneficiaries to understand the levels of stigma, discrimination, and violence faced by indigenous trans individuals in Campeche. The results will be presented to public health clinics and local government authorities to improve healthcare.

Grupo Génesis Panamá + (GGP+) (Panama City, Panamá) – $19,955
Health Education and HIV Risk Reduction for Omeggid Population
GGP+ will work with omeggid, an indigenous trans population, to evaluate their HIV risks. GGP+ will compile data from 300 omeggid to better understand their sexual behaviors and then design and organize a series of workshops to address the risks and gaps in their understanding and practices. GGP+ will provide culturally competent clinical and psychosocial services for HIV testing, prevention, treatment, and care, and produce educational materials that address the omeggid needs regarding these services.

SOMOSGAY Asociación Civil (Asunción, Paraguay) – $20,000
Increase Universal Access for HIV and STIs in GMT Population in Encarnacion, Paraguay
This project is a continuation of past amfAR funding to increase voluntary HIV counseling, testing, and treatment services and referrals for follow-up care for GMT in the peri-urban city of Encarnacion. These health services will be available at SOMOSGAY’s GMT health center. SOMOSGAY and the team in Encarnacion will also work to capacitate and train public healthcare workers to improve health services at other health facilities.

Asociación Civil Angel Azul (Lima, Perú) – $19,940
HIV Prevention and Advocacy to Improve the Quality of Health Services for GMT in Lima.
ACAA will develop a baseline questionnaire for GMT in Lima to better understand barriers to healthcare access in Lima and share these results with the Ministry of Health and local authorities. Based on these findings, AACA will train GMT leaders to address HIV prevention and care among the GMT community in Lima, and train more than 90 healthcare workers to improve health services. AACA will work towards signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Lima authorities as a pledge to continue to improve health services for GMT.

Sociedad Wills Wilde A.C. (Merida, Venezuela) – $19,940
Sexual Health Care Services for GMT in Merida, Venezuela
Sociedad Wills Wilde A.C. will educate the GMT population about HIV while also empowering them by creating platforms for risk-reduction practices that promote discussions about healthy and realistic sexual relationships among men. SWW will also design a campaign focused on improving access to voluntary HIV testing and STI screenings. In addition, SWW will train healthcare workers to provide GMT with health services that are free of stigma and discrimination and train GMT about human rights and the law in Venezuela.


Advocacy in Action Awards


In October 2013, the GMT Initiative launched a trans-specific component to the Advocacy in Action project to engage trans-led grantee partners to implement advocacy projects focused on trans rights and health. With two-year funding from the Arcus Foundation, amfAR recruited four partners based in the Dominican Republic, South Africa, and Thailand for the project.


Comunidad de Trans  y Travestis Trabajadoras Sexuales Dominicana (COTRAVEDT)  (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) – $50,000
Trans in Action

COTRAVEDT will implement an advocacy project to improve health outcomes for transgender individuals in the Dominican Republic, with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS. COTRAVEDT will collect essential data through a participatory needs assessment on the transgender individuals’ HIV/AIDS risks and then conduct workshops to build the community’s advocacy skills. Based on the findings from the needs assessment, key policymakers and other stakeholders will be informed about the importance of gender identity, highlighting the grave human rights abuses and gender-based violence experienced by the community.  COTREVEDT will advocate for legal and policy change, as well as for increased investment in HIV services for transgender individuals.

Transgender and Intersex Africa (TIA) (Pretoria, South Africa) – $50,000
Improving Trans Health and Policy in South Africa

TIA will improve trans-specific health services in South Africa—including HIV services—through direct capacity-building trainings for public health workers and by performing national-level advocacy for policy change. TIA will utilize a community needs assessment it performed using a past amfAR award to conduct trainings for public health practitioners on how to provide quality health services for transgender individuals.  At the same time, TIA will advocate for more inclusive health and human rights policies at the national level.  TIA will also strengthen its internal capacity to conduct healthcare provider trainings and to be active members of key national decision-making bodies.  Finally, TIA will raise public awareness on trans issues through radio, television, and social media campaigns.

Thai Transgender Alliance (ThaiTGA), in collaboration with FOR SOGI (Bangkok, Thailand) – $50,000
The Gender Recognition Advocacy for Transgender People in Thailand

ThaiTGA will advocate for positive changes to gender recognition laws that will improve the health and wellbeing of Thai transgender people, including by reducing their HIV vulnerabilities. Led by transgender leaders and other sexual health activists, the project will include a participatory community needs assessment, legal research and analysis, leadership capacity strengthening for transgender individuals, advocacy efforts targeting high-level government decision makers, and public mobilization campaigns to increase awareness and support for transgender rights and health.  amfAR will also provide support to assist ThaiTGA in becoming a registered non-profit organization, thereby strengthening their capacity to continue their advocacy efforts. 

The Health and Opportunity Network (HON) (Pattaya, Thailand) – $50,000
My Life & Rights: Trans Health Advocacy and Community Action

HON will create public understanding and support for the health and sexual rights of transgender individuals through community capacity-strengthening workshops, advocacy, and social campaigning. Led by transgender leaders, the project will work to change local and national health and human rights policies that impact transgender individuals. Specifically, the project will improve transgender individuals’ ability to access health information and services, including hormone treatment and HIV services, by working with the health services sector; empower transgender individuals to champion their own health and rights and be more engaged in national-level advocacy efforts; and conduct public education campaigns that portray transgender individuals in positive ways. amfAR will also continue to strengthen the HON’s organizational capacity for sustainability beyond the project.