FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Joana Casas, Program Communications Manager
New amfAR Community Awards Aim to Prevent HIV Infection among Key Populations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
NEW YORK, October 16, 2013 – amfAR today announced a new round of community awards that will support front-line organizations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in their efforts to reduce the spread and impact of HIV among gay men, men who have sex with men, and transgender individuals – collectively known as GMT.
Ten community awards, totaling over $161,000, will support organizations in Armenia, Bosnia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Serbia, and Tajikistan. The awards were made through amfAR’s GMT Initiative. HIV prevalence in the region has grown significantly in the past decade, swelling from 970,000 in 2001 to 1.4 million in 2011.
“Eastern Europe and Central Asia are struggling to contain the spread of HIV/AIDS, especially among high-risk key populations that are disproportionately affected by the epidemic, including GMT, sex workers, and injection drug users,” said Kent Klindera, director of amfAR’s GMT Initiative. “The continued marginalization of these populations, along with widespread stigma and discrimination, makes it difficult for them to access the HIV services they so desperately need.”
The awards will help fund multiple efforts in the region to prevent HIV by increasing access to testing, treatment and other health services for GMT. For example, in Serbia, four-time amfAR grantee Safe Pulse of Youth will use the funds to support a mobile testing van that will expand access to HIV testing. And in Bosnia, Partnerships in Health will train outreach workers to encourage “on-the-spot” HIV testing using OraQuick, a saliva-based rapid testing kit.
Other grants will support efforts to reduce stigma and discrimination among GMT in the region through education and advocacy campaigns. In Kyrgyzstan, three-time amfAR grantee Kyrgyz Indigo will use the funds to continue their ongoing campaign to educate law enforcement officials, the media, and students about LGBT rights and health issues.
For a full list of the GMT Initiative Community Awards in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, click here.
Since 2007, amfAR’s GMT Initiative (formerly The MSM Initiative) has made 244 awards totaling more than US$4.4 million to support 170 frontline organizations serving gay men, other men who have sex with men (MSM), and transgender individuals (collectively “GMT”) in 81 countries
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 $366 million in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide. To learn more, visit us at www.amfar.org.
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