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amfAR's MSM Initiative Seeks Proposals From Front-Line Groups Working on HIV in Developing Countries

Initial grants will support organizations working on HIV prevention, care, and treatment among men who have sex with men in Africa, Southeast Asia,

and the Caribbean

NEW YORK, Oct. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, today announced that it is seeking proposals from front-line organizations and networks in Africa, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia working to address HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM). This request for proposals (RFP) marks the formal beginning of the Community Awards Program that is the cornerstone of a new MSM Initiative launched by amfAR at the International AIDS Society conference in Sydney in July 2007.

"This is a crucial first step in getting this important new program off the ground in some of the regions of the world where MSM are most vulnerable to HIV," said amfAR CEO Kevin Frost. "Through the MSM Initiative, we hope to foster collaboration among organizations, promote advocacy that transforms attitudes and discriminatory policies, and increase HIV/AIDS funding worldwide for MSM."

The MSM Initiative will provide small, targeted grants to grassroots groups in resource-limited countries that provide HIV services to MSM. The Initiative will also support networks working to address HIV among MSM; fund research to build understanding of HIV epidemics and interventions among MSM; and seek effective policies and increased public funding for HIV prevention and treatment efforts for MSM.

The initial round of funding focuses on supporting MSM groups in Africa, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia. In keeping with amfAR's rigorous peer review process, funding decisions will be made by community-led peer review groups comprised of experts who are based in the specified geographical areas. Reviewers will give priority to existing community groups that possess the capacity and experience to properly use the funding to address specific HIV- related health and human rights priorities of MSM.

The RFP, application form, application instructions, and additional information about the MSM Initiative can be found at Individual organizations are eligible for one-year awards of up to US$20,000; networks are eligible for awards of up to $50,000. As the MSM Initiative grows, it will provide more support to a greater number of organizations.

The deadlines for submitting proposals are October 25 for organizations in the Caribbean, November 15 for Southeast Asia (Greater Mekong Subregion), and December 4 for Africa. It is anticipated that the awards will be announced in January 2008. amfAR will issue a second series of RFPs in 2008 for Central and South America, Eastern Europe, Central and East Asia, and China.

Founded by amfAR, the MSM Initiative seeks to curb the spread of HIV among men who have sex with men in the developing world. Data indicate that HIV infection among MSM is widespread and worsening. However, according to UNAIDS, less than one in 20 MSM has access to HIV/AIDS services. MSM groups rarely benefit from international HIV prevention efforts because funding and grants flow primarily through national governments that largely ignore the needs of MSM.

The MSM Initiative coordinates its activities with UNAIDS, the Global Forum on MSM and HIV, and dozens of local and regional organizations. It has received significant financial support from groups including the M.A.C AIDS Fund, Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, Elton John AIDS Foundation, and GlaxoSmithKline's Positive Action program, as well as David Bohnett and Tom Gregory, Luigi Caiola and Sean McGill, James C. Hormel and Timothy Wu, Dr. Mathilde Krim, and more than a dozen other individuals and families.

For questions about the RFP or the application requirements please e-mail

SOURCE amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research
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