amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

First Round of Awards Made Through amfAR’s GMT Initiative Combat HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

GMT Initiative, successor to amfAR’s MSM Initiative, will fund programs focusing on gay men, other men who have sex with men, and transgender individuals

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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 Asia.

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.”

About amfAR 

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 teams worldwide.