By Bryan Ochalla“It has been a complete failure,” says Kevin Robert Frost, acting CEO of amfAR, of the global effort to fight HIV and AIDS among men who have sex with men.
Consider the statistics: HIV prevalence among men who have sex with men in Kenya is estimated to be nearly 40%, while rates in Ukraine, Uruguay, and Mexico are estimated at 27%, 21%, and 15%, respectively.
To combat this, the American-based AIDS research foundation recently announced an initiative to provide seed grants to grassroots organizations doing innovative work with MSM groups in the developing world. Frost spoke with The Advocate.
What spurred this initiative?
We began developing a report on the escalating rates of HIV among men who have sex with men in Asia. We quickly realized the scope of the problem was much larger—it called for action on a global scale.
What kinds of groups do you hope to fund?
A good example is a program we’ve been running in Southeast Asia. Our role is to be the facilitator of a network of groups working on services specifically aimed at MSM.
Many people aren’t aware how serious this problem has become. Why does it receive such limited attention?
Certainly other vulnerable populations have been on the agenda for some time. Unfortunately, the idea of men having sex with other men is still an uncomfortable one for many governments and people in conservative regions. (The Advocate, Sep. 2007)URL: View Published Article
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