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’tWeGetMarried.com 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.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

UK teen convicted of stabbing gay man in the heart at local meeting spot

Floyd Evans met victim Francisco Nascimento at a local meeting point for gay men and viciously stabbed him in the heart after chatting to him
No thumbnail available

Passengers on gay cruise say behavior of arrested men was 'inappropriate'

Some were standing on dock on Dominica and saw locals pointing at naked couple
No thumbnail available

Murderers to have UK's first gay jail wedding

Both are serving life for killing gay men
No thumbnail available

Vote on Lithuania’s proposed ‘gay propaganda’ ban bill pushed back again

Lithuanian lawmakers have voted to suspend a vote on a proposal that would ban ‘defilement of the traditional family’ in public spaces until they meet again after the summer break
No thumbnail available

Gays prepare for spring 2013 weddings and more in France

France plans to legalize gay marriage by next spring, extend gay parental rights, give lesbians fertility access, lift the ban on gay men giving blood and give transgender people better ID rights
No thumbnail available

Gay porn star Bruno Knight arrested trying to traffic crystal meth to UK

British born porn performer Bruno Knight was arrested at LAX on 16 June after border protection officers found he was carrying half a pound of crystal methamphetamine inside him
No thumbnail available

HomoLAB 69

On HomoLAB this week Amy is moving. Baylen was productive and Lucio got drunk. We visit Queer Zine Fest London, Lucio goes to Berlin to check out their new Pink Pillow Initiative, and we talk about honorary Gays. Plus all the latest Gay Star News.
No thumbnail available

Church cancels speech by former NFL player because of his support of NBA's gay player Jason Collins

LeRoy Butler was scheduled for anti-bullying presentation at Wisconsin church
No thumbnail available

Irish artist's amazing mural supporting same-sex marriage goes viral

Joe Caslin said he wants to spark discussion on same-sex marriage in the weeks leading to Ireland's referendum in May
No thumbnail available

Steve Grand wants to talk music but handsy Davey Wavey has other ideas

Web celebrity can't keep hands off the hunky All-American Boy