Fund gives cash for gay AIDS fight in Africa

amfAR gives cash prizes to seven gay, bi and trans HIV and AIDS groups in Africa

Fund gives cash for gay AIDS fight in Africa
11 April 2012

The American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), have announced the recipients of their fifth round of Africa community awards, which aim to curb the AIDS epidemic among the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and men who have sex with men.

Designed to provide funding for HIV and AIDS prevention, testing and treatment, the awards of between $10,000 and $20,000 (€7,610 to €15,220) go to groups that conduct outreach and advocacy, often in countries where same-sex sexual activity is illegal. The awards are given through amfAR’s MSM Initiative.

Included among the seven prize recipients this year are Espoi Vie Togo (EVT), a group which aims to set up a facility for LGBT people and other men who have sex with men in Togo, where same-sex sexual activity can lead to up to three years in prison. The facility will provide psychosocial support, HIV testing and counselling within a safe space.

EVT coordinator of programs Yves Kugbe said: ‘Since 2008, Espoir Vie Togo has worked with the MSM community to address HIV prevention and treatment services, but we realized we also needed to incorporate psychological and social care into them to fully serve the community’s needs.’

Crucially, many of the MSM Initiative’s projects are structured to pass on knowledge and awareness. Health Options for Young Men on HIV, AIDS and STIs in Nairobi, Kenya will train sex workers living with HIV in prevention and treatment. The idea is for them to then pass this information on to other sex workers, acting as peer educators.

Another project that will be funded through the awards is Mouvement pour les Libertés Individuelles, which aims to increase participation of gay and bisexual men in discussion of HIV and AIDS policy in Bujumbura, Burundi.

In Lilongwe, Malawi, Center for the Development of People will receive $20,000 (€15,220) to train peer educators on HIV prevention, distribute condoms and train health centre workers on how to provide MSM-friendly services.

In Freetown, Sierra Leone, WhyCan’ will conduct a study into the amount of knowledge on HIV and AIDS in the area. They will then use their findings to consult with decision makers on improving support for MSM and transgender people in the country.

Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action, in Johannesburg, South Africa, will use the arts to educate deaf men who have gay sex and transgender people on HIV-related issues.

Finally, Icebreakers Uganada will train peer leaders to work with decision makers on addressing discrimination in the country. They will also use holistic methods to educate gay men about HIV, as well as providing counselling, testing, rights awareness and online outreach.

amfAR boss Kevin Robert Frost said: ‘There is continuing concern that the social climate in many African countries is increasingly homophobic, so the groups we work with through our men who have sex with men initiative are not only doing vital work, but also very dangerous work.

‘We know that HIV and other sexually transmitted infections thrive in these kinds of discriminatory environments, so the work our partners do in Africa is critically important.’

For more on amfAR’s Africa community awards, check out their website.



No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Hawking joins scientists calling for gay Turing pardon

Top British scientists urge David Cameron to grant World War II codebreaker hero a posthumous pardon for his gay sex conviction
No thumbnail available

Sales of gay-themed books surge in Taiwan

Bookstores are selling 30 percent more gay-themed books than in the past and are rushing to hold related book fairs
No thumbnail available

Lady Gaga did very good things in 2011

Grammy-winning singer again tops's list of top 20 celebs
No thumbnail available

REVIEW: Hilton Heathrow T4: A haven in the eye of the storm

From tarmac to hotel – walk through Terminal 4 into the arms of sanctuary
No thumbnail available

Uganda's anti-gay bill: What will be the implications on donor aid?

How will the US and Europe react if Uganda really does make the bill law and what do LGBTI Ugandans want?
No thumbnail available

Same-sex partner benefits will be accessible in every US state under revived bill

Democrat senator Tammy Baldwin and Republican senator Susan Collins are pushing the US federal government to catch up with Fortune 500 companies by offering benefits to domestic partners of federal employees
No thumbnail available

Spice up your 2014 at Iceland’s lesbian and gay winter festival

Rainbow Reykjavik turns up the heat in January with a Blue Lagoon pool party, a Golden Circle tour and a Masquerade Ball in celebration of the global LGBTI community
No thumbnail available

Ireland blood bank rejects alleged virgin over ‘anonymous query’

A sexually inactive 21-year-old gay man in Ireland, where it’s illegal for men who have sex with men to donate blood, has been blocked from donating until further notice
No thumbnail available

Hollywood power couple's Gangnam Style wedding

Cougar Town producer Danny Rose and husband arrive at their wedding reception on a white unicorn to Madonna's Like A Virgin