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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

he MSM Initiative, which was launched just eight months ago in July 2007. First-round funding includes support for organizations working in Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Curacao, Ghana, Haiti, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nigeria, Thailand and Zimbabwe. The MSM Initiative received more than 120 applications from organizations in developing countries, with more than 85 from Africa alone, far exceeding expectations.

"The response to our first request for proposals (RFP) for funding the MSM Initiative has been overwhelming, demonstrating the enormous unmet need, particularly in parts of the world where vulnerable populations have few established support systems," Frost said. "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."

A second RFP will be issued on February 22. It will target groups working in Central and South America and Asia and the Pacific.

"For too long, countries around the world have simply assumed MSM do not exist, leaving millions underserved and vulnerable to HIV infection," said Stella Iwuagwu, Executive Director at the Center for the Right to Health in Abuja, Nigeria. "The MSM Initiative provides important resources to help us expand our work to empower MSM in Nigeria and ensure that education, condoms, and treatment are available to all."

Data on HIV rates among MSM in developing countries are sparse but a recent study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University produced some startling findings. Published in the online journal PLoS Medicine, their research showed that in 38 low- and middle-income countries, MSM have an average 19 times greater chance of being infected with HIV than the general population. In some countries MSM are more than 100 times more likely to be infected, the study found.

The MSM Initiative is facilitated by amfAR, with va
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SOURCE amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research
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