amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

amfAR and Johns Hopkins University Cement Strategic Partnership

Joint HIV/AIDS work will combine strengths of amfAR’s MSM Initiative and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s research capacity and expertise


For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Cub Barrett, Program Communications Manager
c: (847) 571-0509 

NEW YORK, October 1, 2010—amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and the Center for Public Health and Human Rights (CPHHR) at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health announced Friday the formation of a strategic partnership to help curb the spread of HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Africa.

The formal relationship will help amfAR bolster the strengths of its MSM Initiative, which the Foundation launched in 2007 and which has awarded more than $1.9 million in grants to support 79 front-line organizations serving MSM and transgender populations in 53 countries. Many of the funded organizations are in African countries that criminalize same-sex sexual relations, making local, grassroots efforts essential for reaching MSM with HIV/AIDS education and treatment. CPHHR will also partner with amfAR’s Public Policy Office, based in Washington, DC, on MSM and HIV advocacy and policy work.

“amfAR has had a long and productive working relationship with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, so I’m thrilled that we have entered a formal partnership with the CPHHR team, which shares our commitment to human rights,” said amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost. “Our work together will help strengthen amfAR’s MSM Initiative as we seek to leverage the best data and the most effective practices in our effort to educate MSM in Africa about HIV and AIDS and help them live healthier lives.”

The partnership between CPHHR and amfAR began in 2007, with CPHHR regularly providing assistance on amfAR’s MSM Initiative by helping with data analysis, writing abstracts, and supporting grant applications. The CPHHR team has also worked closely with amfAR staff to create influential policy reports, including the widely publicized “MSM, HIV, and the Road to Universal Access—How Far Have We Come?” released at the 2008 International AIDS Conference in Mexico City.

Under the new partnership, CPHHR will collaborate with amfAR’s Public Policy Office on advocacy priorities and help to ensure that amfAR has access to the most recent and relevant data when producing guidance documents and recommending policy on MSM and HIV. CPHHR will also support several amfAR MSM Initiative grantees in Africa by providing technical capacity-building assistance, consulting on research methods implementation, and providing appropriate data analyses and interpretation.

“This strategic partnership with amfAR is incredibly important and timely for us at Johns Hopkins,” said Professor Chris Beyrer, CPHHR director. “We are just beginning to understand what it will take scientifically and politically to respond to HIV among MSM across Africa. But we already know that the protection of human rights will be fundamental to making headway—and amfAR has a tremendous record of advocacy and policy success around these issues.”

Additionally, CPHHR will collaborate with amfAR on a high-level consultation on MSM in Washington, DC, in December 2010, which will bring together policy, research, and education experts to develop strategies for working with government-funded HIV and AIDS service providers to promote human rights and more effectively reach MSM.

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.
About The Center for Public Health and Human Rights at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
The Center for Public Health and Human Rights (CPHHR), founded by Dr. Chris Beyrer in 2004 at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, seeks to advance fundamental human rights through research, teaching and advocacy.  The Center includes public health professionals, researchers, health workers and advocates dedicated to improving health and promoting social justice through education, research and advocacy in accordance with the International Declaration of Health Rights.