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amfAR Announces Funding for HIV Services and Research Aimed at Men Who Have Sex With Men in Developing Countries
Date:2/22/2008

More Than 100 Groups Apply for Grants to Assist Men Who Have Sex With Men in Developing Countries

NEW YORK, Feb. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an ambitious move to significantly bolster global HIV program efforts targeting populations especially vulnerable to HIV, amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, has announced the first recipients of funding given out under its new MSM Initiative. These community awards will fund 17 grassroots and frontline organizations in Africa, the Caribbean and Southeast Asia that are working to provide essential HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support services for men who have sex with men (MSM), amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost announced today.

"MSM are one of the populations worst affected by HIV worldwide, and this is the first global initiative of its kind supporting local organizations working to address HIV among MSM in developing countries," Frost said.

According to UNAIDS, fewer than one in 20 MSM around the world have access to appropriate HIV/AIDS services. Stigma, discrimination, and lack of access to health services have sparked alarming epidemics that threaten the lives of MSM in underdeveloped regions, mirroring the HIV epidemics that ravaged gay men in North America and Western Europe in the 1980s.

"The MSM Initiative is working to galvanize a much needed global response to the enormous gaps in funding and services for MSM at risk of HIV/AIDS through a partnership with amfAR, UNAIDS, and the Global Forum on MSM and HIV," said Dr. Peter Piot, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). "Leadership in the gay community was instrumental in the response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the West. This initiative is fostering new leadership and support for this issue in developing countries across the globe, including nations where male-male sex is illegal and often heavily stigmatized."

These awards mark the first funding cycle completed by t
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SOURCE amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research
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