amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

MSM Initiative: Third-Round African, Caribbean, and Eastern European and Central Asian Community Awards


NEW YORK, May 17, 2010—The following is a list of programs in Africa, Caribbean, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia funded through the third round of amfAR’s MSM Initiative. All awards are for a 12-month period unless a no-cost extension was requested and granted.

The eight African, seven Caribbean, and seven Eastern Europe and Central Asian awards, which will provide HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention, testing, and treatment services to front-line groups working with MSM, range from more than $10,000 to nearly $30,000.

Since its launch in July 2007, amfAR’s MSM Initiative has made 100 community awards totaling more than US$1.9 million to support 79 frontline organizations serving MSM in 53 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.



Alternatives-Cameroun (Douala, Cameroon) – $15,000
The Access Project Extended 
The project will provide HIV/AIDS prevention services to LGBT/MSM communities in Douala, Yaoundé, and Buea by engaging peer educators to share educational information at bars, restaurants, and through the Internet. In Douala, Alternatives will host MSM-focused health and well-being discussions at the “Access Center,” in addition to providing free HIV testing. The project will also provide medical consultations, counseling and home visits for MSM living with HIV/AIDS, as well as empowering these men to be HIV/AIDS peer educators in their own communities.

Espace Confiance (Abidjan, Côte-d'Ivoire) – $6,000 
In collaboration with Sidaction, Paris, France
Collaborating with Sidaction, amfAR will support Espace Confiance to provide “bridge funding” for an MSM-specific primary health care program. In addition to offering sexual health check-ups for MSM (including HIV testing and innovative annual health screenings), the project will support outreach activities with community-based peer educators and a mobile clinic, providing HIV testing and other STI screening. Sidaction will also provide technical assistance, working with Espace Confiance to develop a more sustainable staffing structure. 

PEMA Kenya (Mombasa, Kenya) – $10,077 
Improving Access to HIV/AIDS Treatment for Mombasa’s MSM Community.
This project will increase MSM access to HIV counseling, testing, treatment, and care services by organizing peer-led support groups for MSM living with HIV/AIDS. Members of these groups will also be empowered to serve as community mobilizers, providing key treatment and testing information through social networks and advocating for LGBTI “safe spaces” within health facilities offering various HIV services.

Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK) (Nairobi, Kenya) – $13,800
In partnership with Ishtar MSM, Nairobi, Kenya
Access Project
This project will analyze and strengthen a community-led referral system that promotes access to MSM-friendly health services in Nairobi through social networking and informational fliers. In addition, MSM peer educators will develop a health and well-being promotion strategy, implementing educational, skills-building, and social support activities based on needs identified by the local MSM community. These activities will be enhanced by the creation of a communications strategy using e-mail, short message services (SMS), and the Ishtar website.

Stop AIDS in Liberia (SAIL) (Monrovia, Liberia) – $15,000
HIV/AIDS Awareness, Advocacy, and Prevention Campaign Targeting MSM): Access to Health and Sexual Rights in Liberia 
This project will educate and empower an MSM community in Monrovia about HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services, utilizing a peer education diffusion model, as well as distributing condoms and lubricant. The program will train MSM volunteers to educate and empower other MSM about HIV/STI prevention and treatment, safe sex practices, and general health promotion, working in partnership with HIV testing centers, clinics, and hospitals.

Association de lutte contre le sida (ALCS) (Marrakesh, Morocco) – $15,000
Establishment of a Drop-in Center for MSM in Marrakesh City 
The project will allow ALCS to establish an MSM-friendly, drop-in health center in Marrakesh. In addition to providing social support and safe space for MSM, the center will train medical staff on MSM-specific health needs, provide HIV and syphilis testing and counseling, and will host discussions on health and wellness. ALCS will also create HIV/STI prevention pamphlets and cards for MSM. In addition, outreach workers will promote the center’s services through condom and lubricant distribution activities and informational sessions in the community.

South African Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV & AIDS (SANERELA+) (Johannesburg, South Africa) – $15,000
To Support Religious Leaders in Carrying Out Effective HIV and AIDS Responses Targeting MSM and Gay, Bisexual and Transgenders through their Faith Communities 
This project will support religious leaders in carrying out effective HIV/AIDS responses targeting MSM/LGBT people through their faith communities in Johannesburg (including Soweto). Activities will include involving MSM/LGBT individuals in community HIV/AIDS awareness skills-building workshops led by religious leaders, providing mobile voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) services at church venues on worship days, and forming support groups for MSM/LGBT individuals living with HIV.

Name withheld by request (Kampala, Uganda) – $15,000
This project will provide much needed support by helping to share information among MSM communities affected by HIV/AIDS in Kampala. 

Friends of RAINKA (FoR) (Lusaka, Zambia) – $15,750
Sero-prevalence Study for Zambian MSM 
This project will support a community-based, respondent-driven sampling research study to assess HIV-related risk behaviors and to describe the epidemiology of HIV infection among MSM in three urban sites and one rural site in four provinces of Zambia.  Findings will be disseminated to myriad stakeholders and used to advocate for greater commitments to MSM/HIV programming in Zambia.

The Caribbean

United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) (Belize City, Belize) – $15,000
Health Empowerment Through Leadership Development and Information 
This project will recruit and train MSM/HIV advocates, including MSM living with HIV, on issues such as human rights, adherence counseling, policy analysis, media advocacy, and proposal writing, as well as organizing HIV prevention and testing activities for MSM in Belize. Following the skills-building training, in addition to providing prevention services, UNIBAM will lead an anti-homophobia advocacy campaign targeting policymakers, educators, and health providers, as well as identifying and documenting policy gaps in strategic national health documents. 

Centro de Orientación e Investigación Integral (COIN) (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) – $30,000
Proyecto "Tal Cual" ("As I Am") 
This project, a continuation of previous amfAR funding aims to reduce the spread and impact of HIV/AIDS and other STIs in the transgender sex worker communities (and their clients) in Santo Domingo, San Pedro de Macoris, and La Romana. Activities will include culturally appropriate HIV prevention and treatment outreach and a referral system for psychosocial support and sensitization training for healthcare personnel.

Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) (Georgetown, Guyana) – $15,000
Strengthening Community Cohesion and Building Resilience to HIV in Guyana
This project aims to reduce the spread and impact of HIV/AIDS among various groups within the LGBT community in Guyana. Different activities will be offered through a drop-in center, including sign language skills-building exchange sessions on HIV/AIDS for both hearing and deaf LGBT community members; safe space provision for social support among transgender and gender non-conforming persons; and monthly peer support and community empowerment meetings for MSM living with HIV.

Fondation Esther Boucicault Stanislas (FEBS) (Fleurenceau, Saint-Marc, Haiti) – $15,000
Evidence-Based,  MSM-Led HIV Prevention and Anti-Stigma Program 
This project will recruit and train MSM as opinion leaders to positively influence the HIV-related risk behaviors of other MSM in and around Saint-Marc by promoting safer sex behaviors and self-esteem. The opinion leaders and their interested friends will also be trained to discuss HIV/AIDS-related stigma and homophobia with the broader public, including religious leaders, elected officials, government bureaucrats, healthcare leaders, and youth group leaders.  FEBS and the peer influencers will also create anti-stigma and HIV prevention messages for radio and television programming, schools, and community-wide events such as carnivals, rallies, marches, and World AIDS Day.

SEROvie (Port-au-Prince, Haiti) – $15,000
Increasing Equitable Access to Prevention for MSM in Haiti 
This project, a continuation of previous amfAR funding, will provide outreach and social services to MSM infected and affected by HIV living in the Les Cayes area of Haiti. Utilizing evidence-based approaches to behavior change, the project will build the interpersonal communication skills of MSM to sustain healthy behaviors that reduce their risk for HIV infection. The project will also work with MSM living with HIV, providing psychosocial support, as well as referral for MSM-friendly ARV treatment and palliative care. 

Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals, and Gays (J-FLAG) (Kingston, Jamaica) – $15,000
Bringing Hope, Building Community
This project, a continuation of previous amfAR funding, will reduce the spread and impact of HIV among MSM in Jamaica by supporting J-FLAG’s general programming, including: a social support and crisis intervention program, LGBT empowerment and life skills sessions (including safer sex negotiation), and LGBT leaders skills-building training (focused on media relations, advocacy, and peer counseling skills).

MSM: No Political Agenda (MSMNPA) (Santa Cruz, Trinidad & Tobago) –  $15,000
Regional Prevention Response to HIV/AIDS Vulnerability Among MSM Populations in the Caribbean
This project, a continuation of previous amfAR funding, will provide HIV/AIDS-related information and support to MSM and their allies in six Eastern Caribbean countries. Through its FRee FORUM project, MSMNPA will produce, distribute, and webhost several issues of its newsletter dedicated to HIV/AIDS and STI treatment and prevention, as well as LGBT advocacy and the promotion of human rights. MSMNPA will work with various constituencies to make the newsletter appropriate for all six countries.


Eastern Europe and Central Asia

We for Civil Equality (WFCE) (Yerevan, Armenia) – $14,560
Human Rights Advocacy and HIV/AIDS Prevention, Care, and Support for MSM Communities in Armenia 
This project seeks to increase access to quality HIV and AIDS services for at least 300 MSM in Yerevan. WFCE will educate and train health service providers and peer educators to offer MSM-specific HIV/AIDS services, including prevention, HIV testing, and referral for HIV treatment and care. WCFE will also develop and launch a website to reach MSM directly with health information. In addition, WCFE will advocate for greater inclusion of issues related to MSM and HIV in local and national policy discussions.

Public Fund Gender Vector (PFGV) (Karabalta, Kyrgyzstan) – $10,000
HIV Prevention Intervention Among MSM in Chui and Osh Regions of Kyrgyzstan 
This project seeks to inform and empower Kyrgyz MSM communities by designing, developing, and disseminating informational and motivational brochures on how to prevent HIV/AIDS. In addition, PFGV will engage at least 20 MSM peer educators to be trained as VCT counselors, thus assisting government efforts in HIV testing and proper follow-up for MSM. 

New Life Organization (the New Life) (Orenburg, Russia) – $15,000
Prevention of HIV for MSM through Information, Peer Counseling, and Community Mobilization and Advocacy 
The project intends to mobilize MSM to reduce the spread and impact of HIV through peer counseling, outreach, “Motivation (M) Groups” (monthly peer support and discussion groups), and a hotline. In addition, the New Life will empower MSM leaders and engage health services providers to advocate for the greater inclusion of MSM and HIV-specific services in government-supported health programs.

The Siberian Alternative Center (Omsk, Russia) – $30,000
In collaboration with the Novosibirsk City Humanitarian Project 
PULSAR Project: Effective HIV and STI Prevention among MSM in the Siberian Region 
This project aims to reduce HIV and STI-related risk behavior of more than 1,500 MSM through a comprehensive approach to increasing access to HIV and STI services. The project will meet various needs of MSM through a wide range of activities, including informational and motivational meetings, support groups, recreational activities, and street and bar outreach. In addition, a media campaign (including radio messaging, and development and dissemination of behavior-change communication materials) will be implemented, and training on MSM-specific services will be offered to health providers such as HIV test counselors and MSM-peer counselors.

Safe Pulse of Youth (SPY) (Belgrade, Serbia) – $14,980
Participatory Approach to Evidence-based Planning, Establishing, and Conducting Counseling Centers for MSM 
This project will utilize SPY’s linkage to and trust established in the MSM community to conduct a random driven sampling study of factors influencing HIV risk-taking behavior among MSM in Belgrade. Following data analysis and summarization, SPY will disseminate research results to key stakeholders and policymakers in Serbia and the Eastern Europe/Central Asia region.

CSO Equal Opportunities (Dushanbe, Tajikistan) – $15,000
HIV and Other Socially Significant Diseases Among MSM 
This project aims to increase HIV-related knowledge, motivation, and skills among MSM through various social support programs, including condom and lubricant outreach, weekly self-help groups, risk reduction mini-trainings for MSM, as well as the production of behavior-change communication materials. In addition, Equal Opportunities will train health service providers about the needs of MSM and advocate for the inclusion of MSM in the development of health and human rights policy. 

Nikolaev Regional Youth Movement–Penitentiary Initiative (Nikolaev, Ukraine) – $30,000
HIV Prevention and Psychosocial Support for MSM in Prisons: Scaling Up
 The project will work to reduce the vulnerabilities of MSM in prison settings through the scale-up of training and community mobilization activities to reduce MSM-related stigma and discrimination on the part of prison staff and the greater prison population. The project will also provide psychosocial support and HIV prevention activities (e.g., peer education, peer counseling, and health service referral) for MSM prisoners in three colonies in the Nikolaev region.

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 $307 million in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide.