Climate of state-sponsored homophobia ups HIV rates: amfAR announces grants
The International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) on 17th of May, provides yet another opportunity to talk about the wave of discrimination and violence against men who have sex with men (MSM) that is driving the spread of HIV/AIDS in developing countries. Gross violations of human rights in Uganda, Jamaica, Uzbekistan and elsewhere have created a climate of fear, forcing MSM underground and undermining HIV/AIDS services. Today, MSM are 19 times more likely to be infected with HIV than the general population and their disproportionate vulnerability is threatening to stagnate the progress we have made in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Read more
On IDAHO, the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) has good news to share. The organization is announcing a quarter-million US dollars in grants to community groups providing HIV/AIDS prevention, testing and treatment services to MSM in Africa and the Caribbean. These grants will be given to 16 groups dedicated to fighting HIV and discrimination simultaneously. Many of these grant recipients face constant threats of violence simply because of the population they serve. (See one recipient, Reverend Paul Mokhethi from SANERELA, tell his struggle in this video online here). In the upcoming months, amfAR will also be announcing a set of grants to groups working throughout Asia.