amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

2013 GMT Initiative Community Awards


GMT Initiative Awards: Caribbean


Comunidad de Trans Travesti Trabajadoras Sexuales Dominicanas (COTRAVETD) (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) – $17,500
Pills for Life

COTRAVETD will address service gaps for HIV-positive transgender women by organizing a series of workshops focusing on job skills development. Additional workshops will aim to reduce stigma and discrimination against HIV-positive transgender women among the greater transgender community. COTRAVETD will also work with health care providers to improve health services and foster a stigma-free healthcare environment.

The Network of Guyanese Living with and Affected by HIV/AIDS (G+) (Georgetown, Guyana) – $17,494
Strengthening Community Response, Access to Care and Treatment

G+ plan to address barriers associated with HIV testing to facilitate early diagnosis of HIV, increase the availability of condoms and lubricant, expand access to treatment and care, and reduce stigma and discrimination in the health sector and overall community. The group will increase access to HIV testing and counseling for GMT in Guyana by organizing trainings with healthcare workers to improve health services and strengthen referral systems. G+ will also train peer educators who will work to improve knowledge of the health and human rights issues affecting the GMT community.

Instituto Dominicano de Estudios Virológicos (IDEV) (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) – $17,500
Education and Testing to Reduce HIV and HPV in Dominican GMT

IDEV will conduct research on the knowledge and prevalence of HPV among GMT individuals in Santo Domingo. The group will then use the results to help promote regular HPV screenings, anal examinations and HIV testing for GMT. IDEV will also work with the community to improve knowledge about anal health, HPV and HIV, as well as with local health centers to promote anal health and improve referrals for additional care.

Antiguan Resilience Collective Inc. (ARC) (St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda) – $14,700
Working Together to Enhance the GMT Community in Antigua and Barbuda II
With this second year project, ARC will continue to increase access to HIV testing for GMT, conduct peer outreach (distributing condoms, lubricant, and behavior change communication materials), and provide referrals to private healthcare centers.  In addition, ARC will build the leadership skills necessary for GMT to advocate for their own rights.

Name Witheld (Kingston, Jamaica) – $17,496
Across the Lines

This Kingston-based group will aim to reach GMT through social media messaging, edutainment interventions (using theater to promote HIV prevention messages), SMS messages, and enhanced counseling and referral services. It will then use these four intervention strategies collectively to reach GMT groups that remain hidden.

Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals & Gays (J-FLAG) (Kingston, Jamaica) – $17,500
Fight the Hate: Mitigating Risks and Enabling Safe Spaces for LGBT

A continuation of a previous amfAR grant, J-FLAG will aim to create a more hospitable environment for GMT to seek essential HIV and AIDS services and support free from stigma, discrimination, and violence. The initiative will strengthen the organization’s capacity to enhance a system of HIV testing and referral to LGBT-friendly services in Jamaica through the use of a smart-phone application and the upgrading of J-FLAG’s website.

Jamaican AIDS Support for Life (JASL) (Kingston, Jamaica) – $17,500
Providing Information and Skills-Building around Advocacy to Lobby for Legislative Change

JASL will develop legislative briefs to help educate Jamaican civil society on the policies that negatively affect GMT. The organization will then organize workshops that use the briefs to capacitate key members of Jamaican civil society to be active agents supporting the health and human rights of GMT.

DomCHAP (Roseau, Dominica) – $17,136
Dominica Healthy Men (DO-HEM) Project

DomCHAP will establish a peer education program in Dominica, training GMT to be effective communicators of HIV prevention and treatment information. The group will also train GMT leaders in pre- and post-HIV test counseling skills, towards seeing more testing and adherence to treatment for GMT. In order to ensure greater sustainability of their work, DomCHAP will aim to build relationships with local and regional stakeholders.

Kouraj (Port-au-Prince, Haiti) – $17,500
Owning Our Courage: Enhancing GMT Organizing Efforts in Haiti

Kouraj will organize a training to educate key GMT leaders on human rights. These same leaders will also receive training in basic research techniques so they can conduct a series of interviews with GMT to document and better understand the level of human rights abuses and violence GMT experience. The information collected from these interviews will be analyzed and used to develop a human rights brief that will serve as a tool to advocate for greater inclusion of GMT in national discussions on HIV and health, as well as to advocate for reduced stigma and discrimination against GMT.

Additional Awards: Latin America

Silueta X (Guayaquil, Ecuador) - $15,000
[3rd year of partnership] The project is utilizing results from a past amfAR funding study to advocate for greater transgender rights and inclusion in health policies and services. Silueta X is also engaging transgender leaders to know their rights, meeting formally with various government ministry staff members, and analyzing trends in government spending on transgender health issues in general.


GMT Initiative Awards - Africa


EAST AFRICA (funded by AIDS Fonds Netherlands)

Health Options for Young Men with HIV, AIDS and STIs (HOYMAS) (Nairobi, Kenya)$20,000
Enhancing ARV Adherence for GMT and Male Sex Workers (MSW) in Kenya

[2nd Year Funding] Utilizing “Encounter Groups,” HOYMAS will implement and then evaluate its program for promoting healthy living for GMT living with HIV, which includes mental health support, nutrition advice, and HIV adherence guidance. HOYMAS will also conduct advocacy activities with government officials, donor representatives, and other stakeholders, as well as organize community awareness events for HOYMAS members.

Men Against AIDS Youth Group (MAAYGO) (Kisumu, Kenya) – $20,000
Reducing HIV Vulnerability and Disease Burden through Economic Viability among the GMT Population in Kisumu County

[1st Year Funding] MAAYGO will conduct a needs assessment among GMT community members, health and social service providers, micro-credit institutions, and employers in order to better understand barriers to economic empowerment and improved health outcomes for GMT. The results of the assessment will be used to increase access to health services by helping health and social service providers to create GMT-friendly environments. In addition, MAAYGO will promote economic independence for GMT through job skills trainings and a GMT-focused micro-credit program.

Spectrum Uganda Initiatives Incorporated (Kampala, Uganda)$20,000
Spectrum Uganda Initiatives Incorporated

[1st Year Funding] Spectrum will increase access to health services for GMT in Uganda by training healthcare workers on GMT-related health issues, including homophobia’s role as a driver in HIV transmission. The organization will also aim to initiate a national dialogue by addressing the pervasive stigma and discrimination against GMT through a series of media campaigns on television, radio, and the internet.

NORTH AFRICA (funded by amfAR)  

Name Withheld by Request (Marrakesh, Morocco) $20,000
Al Borj Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health

[4th Year Funding] A continuation of past amfAR-supported work, this Morocco-based organization will utilize more efficient case management—introducing a new digital data storage system for better client record-keeping—in order to increase medical follow up for GMT, with the overall goal of better adherence among GMT living with HIV in Marrakesh. The organization will also provide social support to economically unstable GMT living with HIV.

SOUTHERN AFRICA (funded by Ford Foundation-Southern Africa)  

Action Humanitaire Pour la Santé et le Développement Communautaire (AHUSADEC)(Bukavu, DRC)$19,984
Improving Social and Health Conditions for LBGTI Sex Workers in Bukavu/South Kivu Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo

[1st Year Funding] AHUSADEC will aim to improve access to health services for GMT sex workers in the South Kivu province and its capital, Bukavu, by strengthening referral systems to public healthcare centers, and empowering GMT sex workers with HIV prevention information. In addition, the organization will host dialogues for GMT sex workers and other stakeholders on human rights, stigma, and discrimination, with the goal of increasing knowledge about the rights and needs of GMT sex workers in the province. Finally, AHUSADEC will launch a media campaign to address these issues.

Health Development Initiative-Rwanda (HDI) (Kigali, Rwanda)$19,980
Engaging MSM in Advocating for the Implementation of National Policies that Ensure Access to Comprehensive HIV Prevention Services and Commodities

[1st Year Funding] HDI will address health services gaps for GMT in Rwanda by training 25 GMT in health and human rights-focused advocacy skills. After the training, HDI will work with the trainees to implement an advocacy strategy with policy makers, legislators, parliamentarians, UN agencies, and healthcare workers, in order to improve health service and policies for GMT in Rwanda.

Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO), in partnership with Botswana Network on Ethics, the Law and AIDS (BONELA) (Gaborone, Botswana)$20,000
Mainstreaming LGBTI Issues into National Healthcare and Service Delivery

[1st Year Funding] LEGABIBO will use its first GMT Initiative award to train community leaders as health advocates for LGBTI. The newly trained advocates will then work with selected public and private health providers to create an LGBTI-friendly health referral system for the greater LGBTI community, and motivate community members to take advantage of such services.

OUT Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) Wellbeing (Pretoria, South Africa)$18,500
Accreditation of a Training Manual to Provide Competent Services to GMT Individuals

[1st Year Funding] This project will enable OUT to become the first officially accredited organization in South Africa for training healthcare providers on “LGBT-specific health needs.” The training manual will be integrated into the National Department of Health Regional Training Centers, and health service providers attending trainings who utilize the manual will obtain certified continuing medical education credit. OUT will also conduct advocacy efforts with the South African government and other stakeholders to underline the importance of these trainings and the manual as effective HIV/AIDS prevention and care strategies.

Rock of Hope (Mbabane, Swaziland) $20,000
Strengthening Healthcare Access for GMT in Swaziland

[1st Year Funding] Rock of Hope will assess the GMT community’s experience with the healthcare system in Swaziland. The organization will then use the results of the assessment to make recommendations for service improvements, including sensitizing healthcare workers on service delivery for GMT. Rock of Hope will also train GMT leaders to work with local media practitioners and encourage the public to address GMT- and HIV-related stigma and discrimination.

Transgender and Intersex Africa (TIA) (Pretoria, South Africa)$20,000
Transgender HIV and Sexual Health Research and Awareness Project

[1st Year Funding] TIA will analyze transgender individuals’ vulnerability to HIV—focusing on identifying risky sexual behaviors—in order to increase knowledge of HIV prevention options within the transgender community in South Africa. The group will also create short video documentaries that will serve as advocacy tools for the transgender community and increase awareness in South Africa of transgender-related social and health issues.


WEST AFRICA (funded by AIDS Fonds Netherlands and amfAR)  

MEN’S (Lomé, Togo)$20,000
Capacity Strengthening and Advocacy for MSM Organizations in Togo

[1st Year Funding] MEN’S will strengthen the organizational capacity of three GMT organizations in Togo, and launch a national advocacy strategy on GMT- and HIV-related issues. With its award, the group will aim to increase objective and positive reporting on GMT, organize high-level meetings with key government leaders on inclusive human rights and HIV policies for GMT in Togo, and instruct the GMT community on health- and rights-based issues.

New HIV Vaccine and Microbicide Advocacy Society (NHVMAS) (Lagos, Nigeria)$19,789
Creating Space for Dialogue with Policy Makers on National and State Plans for Community HIV Prevention and Treatment Programs

[1st Year Funding] NHVMAS will engage key GMT-led organizations—as well as policy makers and donors—to discuss the implication of new research on HIV treatment and prevention programs. The goal of the meetings will be to gain knowledge of the health-related needs of GMT in order to successfully advocate for increased and improved programming for GMT in Nigeria.

Stop AIDS in Liberia (SAIL) (Monrovia, Liberia) – $20,000
GMT Sexual Health Advocacy and Rights Project (G-SHARP)

[3rd Year Funding] This project builds on past amfAR support to provide sexual health services for GMT in Liberia. SAIL will formalize its peer education program by adapting a training manual, the use of which will help peer educators carry out community outreach programs—including the promotion of HIV testing and ARV treatment adherence. SAIL will also host a support group for GMT living with HIV. Through this project, SAIL will begin documenting LGBT-related human rights violations, and offer legal aid services to LGBT individuals who have been physically or verbally abused, or denied services at public institutions. Finally, SAIL will engage key stakeholders in government and development partners to advocate for the rights of GMT in Liberia.


Additional Awards

Humanity First (Yaoundé, Cameroon) - $15,000
[2nd year of partnership] The project trains healthcare providers, advocates, and local and national government officials about GMT-friendly health services, including HIV testing and ARV adherence services.

Latin America Awards

Movimiento por la Diversidad Sexual, MUMS (Santiago, Chile) – $20,000
Advocacy during the electoral process for resource mobilization in order to respond to HIV/AIDS in GMT and fight homophobia

This advocacy project will engage key decision-makers in government, elected officials, and the general public in order to challenge homophobic structures and increase investment in GMT-specific HIV programming. Activists involved in the project will represent three regions (Valparaíso, Valdivia, and Santiago) with high HIV prevalence rates and will be trained to administer effective advocacy strategies. MUMS, a two-time amfAR grantee, will also launch an anti-homophobia campaign through radio, TV, and print media.

Asociación Solidaria Para Impulsar el Desarrollo Humano (ASPI-DH) (San Salvador, El Salvador) – $20,000
Abriendo Caminos 2.0

In its second year as an amfAR grantee, ASPI-DH will expand its “Open Road 2011” project to additional regions in El Salvador and will continue training health care providers in 24 public health centers across the country on the needs of GMT people. ASPI-DH will focus on reducing stigma and discrimination within health centers in an effort to encourage uptake of HIV prevention, treatment, and care for GMT. This will be accomplished by organizing “Open Door” days at the centers that have participated in the trainings. ASPI-DH will also deploy patients as undercover evaluators or mystery clients who will visit the centers in order to evaluate the quality of care given by the medical providers.

Red nacional de Mujeres Travestis, Transgéneros y Transexuales de Bolivia (RED TREBOL) (Cochabamba, Bolivia) – $20,000
Acceso Universal para población Trans que se dedica al trabajo Sexual

This project will build upon previous support to educate transgender community leaders and 100 decision-makers in government (civil servants, elected officials) on the Gender Identity Law and its significance for transgender people in Bolivia. Transgender leaders will help these decision-makers understand the importance of recognizing and protecting the expression of gender identity in Bolivia and its relation to HIV transmission. The project will empower transgender leaders to actively participate in advocacy activities with the trainees, as well as encourage the transgender human rights defenders to become decision-makers themselves. This is RED TREBOL’s second consecutive amfAR grant being implemented by and for transgender women.

Asociación Jóvenes en Movimiento (AJEM) (Tegucigalpa, Honduras) – $20,000
Closing the Gaps, Integrating Communities Phase II

AJEM, using its second amfAR award, will work to reduce stigma and discrimination among health providers and young Hondurans in order to promote greater access to HIV/STI services. AJEM staff members and volunteers will conduct a series of interviews with health care providers and use the results to develop and conduct trainings for other health care staff on the relationships between HIV transmission, sexual orientation, and gender identity. AJEM will also help reduce GMT-related stigma and discrimination by performing street theater and distributing leaflets for university students and other members of the public.

Jóvenes Homosexuales en Acción Contra el Sida (JHACS) (Iquitos, Peru) – $20,000
Promoting access to culturally appropriate HIV services and health care for gay men and transgender women in Iquitos through public policy change

A new partner for amfAR, JHACS will effect policy change at the local level in Iquitos by empowering community-based organizations to implement an intervention model, integrating both individual behavior change and community-wide strategies to reduce the spread and impact HIV/AIDS among GMT. JHACS will also educate local authorities on the role that punitive policies play in limiting access to health care services for GMT, and help develop and adopt a non-discrimination policy in Iquitos to ensure protection for all citizens regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (Mar del Plata, Argentina) – $19,900
If you saw your mother (Si te viera tu madre)

This transgender-designed and -led project will create a documentary to be used as an advocacy tool against transphobia in Argentina and Latin America. The documentary film—created by Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, a first-time amfAR awardee—will chronicle the life of a prominent transgender activist and the brutal discrimination she has endured. The film will also highlight the need for broader inclusion of transgender women in the response against HIV, including improved access to HIV services. Screenings of the documentary will be arranged for prominent decision-makers and authorities as part of broader advocacy efforts.

Colectivo Unidad Color Rosa (San Pedro Sula, Honduras) – $19,859
Working for a dignified life free of stigma and discrimination for women

Colectivo Unidad Color Rosa will empower and train female transgender sex workers to engage in advocacy work and improve their leadership capacity. Transgender community leaders will learn how to improve health service delivery by working with and educating medical providers, and develop and distribute a guide for effective health care delivery for transgender individuals. Color Rosa will also work with policy-makers to promote the adoption of a gender identity law in Honduras that will ensure protection for all citizens regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Interculturalidad, Salud y Derechos A.C. (INSADE) (Hidalgo, Mexico) – $14,440
Indigenous MSM youth and inclusive schools against HIV

INSADE will interview young, indigenous MSM in Aguascalientes to gain a better understanding of their sexual behavior, while also furnishing them with important HIV prevention messages. The results of the interviews will be used to develop a curriculum that will be submitted to the Ministry of Education, with the goal of formalizing schools-based HIV prevention education programs that are inclusive of GMT. INSADE will reinforce the importance of HIV testing and care for all indigenous MSM that are part of the program.

Centro de Desarrollo e Investigación sobre Juventud, A.C. (Campeche, Mexico) – $20,000
Strengthening community health services for transgender people

With their second award from amfAR, CDIJ will develop a manual for health care providers in Campeche, Mexico, to help them improve HIV-related service delivery for GMT, and thereby increase the rates of HIV testing and treatment. The group will train GMT leaders to improve HIV prevention knowledge among the indigenous GMT community, with a particular focus on transgender indigenous people. CDIJ will also develop an institutional website on which information on the organization and its work can be found.


Additional Awards  


Chengdu Love and Kindness (Chengdu, China) - $17,000
[2nd year of partnership] The project is increasing access to quality healthcare services for GMT, including those living with HIV , by offering anti-homophobic campaigns in public health sector facilities, as well as engaging GMT themselves to know and exercise their rights.

Health Opportunities Network (Pattaya, Thailand) - $18,135
[2nd year of partnership]The project is increasing access to quality healthcare services for transgender individuals living with HIV by engaging them in advocacy efforts, as well as by training healthcare providers in transgender-friendly healthcare.

LaoPHA (Champasak, Laos) - $18,000
[2nd year of partnership] The project is increasing access to quality healthcare services for GMT, including those living with HIV. LaoPHA has developed a strong partnership with the Thai Ministry of Health in the neighboring Thai province, Ubon Ratchathani, and the ministry is now working with their counterpart in Laos to develop more GMT-friendly policies and health services.


GMT Initiative Awards -Eastern Europe and Central Asia


We for Civil Equality (WFCE) (Yerevan, Armenia) – $14,982
Mainstreaming HIV/AIDS Prevention Activities for GMT in Armenia through Holistic Approaches

[3rd Year Funding] WFCE will increase access to HIV prevention, treatment, and care services for GMT by integrating their needs into both private and state-run mainstream healthcare services.  WFCE will initially collect new data on sexual behavior among GMT in Armenia, and then use the data to inform advocacy and programming.  The project will provide direct training to health professionals on GMT healthcare, with an emphasis on the needs of GMT living with HIV.  WFCE will also continue its efforts to advocate for positive health policies for GMT at the national and regional levels. 

Partnerships in Health (PIH) (Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina) – $14,280
Introduction of Innovative Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) Methodologies for the MSM Population

[1st Year Funding] PIH will evaluate effective strategies to encourage more GMT to test for HIV.  Utilizing a saliva-based rapid testing kit (OraQuick), outreach workers will encourage “on the spot” HIV testing, as well as home-based self-testing.  PIH will also provide pre-test and post-test HIV counseling, psycho-social support, and access to early treatment for GMT who self-test  positive. PIH will also develop a web-based platform to provide anonymous online counseling during and after self-testing.

Azimut Plus (AP) (Karaganda, Kazakhstan) – $15,050
Coming Out

[1st Year Funding] AP will address GMT-related stigma and discrimination among health service providers, the media, and the general public.  AP will engage the local AIDS Center to train its staff in GMT-friendly healthcare and train AIDS hotline staff to provide quality psychosocial counseling for GMT calling in. AP will perform a needs assessment of the GMT population to inform these activities.  It will also conduct a multimedia campaign aiming to eradicate homophobia and HIV-related stigma in society. 

Kyrgyz Indigo (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan) – $20,000
Security for GBLT: Fighting Against Violence and Promoting Human Rights

[3rd Year Funding] Indigo will continue its programming and advocacy to promote “safety”—meaning safe environments and safe behavior by others—for LGBT individuals and other MSM.  Indigo will focus externally on fostering these environments by educating law enforcement officers, mass media practitioners, university instructors, and students about LGBT human rights and health issues to increase awareness and reduce violence.  Indigo will also focus internally on its members by empowering young members on health and human rights issues and strengthening their life skills to avoid HIV infection and/or live positively with HIV.  Finally, Indigo will document and disseminate information about human rights abuses and the negative impact they have on its members. 

Pathfinder (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan) – $14,995
On a Positive Wave

[1st Year Funding] Pathfinder will increase access to “positive prevention,” treatment, care, and support for GMT living with HIV.  After conducting a needs assessment, Pathfinder will utilize innovative strategies to mobilize HIV-positive GMT to participate in community mobilization activities, including an annual bike ride and weekly support group meetings, among other activities.  A major focus will be on treatment access and adherence. Finally, Pathfinder will engage government offices and other non-governmental organizations to promote the inclusion of prevention, care, and treatment needs of GMT in the Kyrgyz National Strategy on HIV/AIDS.

STAR-STAR (Skopje, Macedonia) – $12,000
GMT Mobilization and Integration to Improve the Secondary Health System

[1st Year Funding] STAR-STAR will engage GMT sex workers as community mobilizers and utilize this  peer educator model to better understand the needs of GMT sex workers and to encourage HIV/STI testing and adherence to ARVs.  STAR-STAR will also sensitize health services providers used by GMT sex workers to create environments that enable greater access to testing and treatment. 

Juventas (Podgorica, Montenegro) – $14,920
Improving GMT Individuals' Access to HIV Testing in Montenegro

[1st Year Funding] Juventas will increase HIV testing for GMT by motivating them to get tested through a national HIV testing campaign and by strengthening the capacity of health service providers working in VCT centers and primary healthcare centers to identify and address the specific needs of GMT clients.

Safe Pulse of Youth (SPY) (Belgrade, Serbia) – $20,000
Multimodal Approach to HIV and STI Prevention at Primary and Secondary Levels among the GMT Population in Belgrade

[4th Year Funding] SPY will increase the number of GMT individuals tested for HIV and other STIs through the use of a mobile testing van and at its drop-in center “BGD Checkpoint.”   SPY will also strengthen linkages to mental health and social support services for GMT living with HIV in Belgrade and document and disseminate cases of stigma and discrimination experienced by GMT in public and private healthcare institutions.

Q-Club (Belgrade, Serbia) – $15,000
Reduction of HIV Transmission, and Support for GMT

[1st Year Funding] Q-Club will work to reduce HIV transmission among GMT by providing prevention and referral services at their LGBT community center. Q-Club will also engage GMT living with HIV, assessing their needs and increasing their access to ARV treatment and adherence counseling. Additionally, the organization will conduct advocacy activities by drafting policy papers to inform decision makers about the needs of the GMT community within the Serbian healthcare system. 

Equal Opportunities (EO) (Dushanbe, Tajikistan) – $20,200
Accessible, Quality, and Reliability, on Equal Terms

[3rd Year Funding] EO will continue to increase access to HIV and other STI health services by strengthening the leadership capacity of its members.  Through leadership development, skills-building seminars, outreach programming, and other motivational campaigns, EO will encourage GMT to test for HIV/STIs, seek appropriate treatment, and adhere to ARVs.  The project will also continue to develop the skills of a cadre of health and others social services providers providing GMT-friendly services and expand the trainings to engage additional providers in three regions in Tajikistan.