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1200px-Elton_John_2011_Shankbone_3DURBAN, South Africa – The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) are today announcing the first two recipients of The LGBT Fund. The inaugural recipients are the International HIV/AIDS Alliance (The Alliance) and the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF). These partners will administer small grants and provide key technical expertise addressing stigma and discrimination through innovative and community-led approaches in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean.

First launched in London by Sir Elton John and Ambassador Deborah L. Birx in November 2015, the $10 million Fund was created to address stigma, discrimination, and violence faced by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people. The grants will strengthen the capacity of local community organizations and expand HIV prevention and treatment for LGBT people.

Further, three PEPFAR supported countries will be funded to increase access to quality HIV services for LGBT people in high HIV burden geographic areas.

“On behalf of the Elton John AIDS Foundation and PEPFAR, I’m delighted to present the International HIV/AIDS Alliance (The Alliance) and the Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF) as inaugural recipients of The LGBT Fund,” said Sir Elton John, founder of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

“Establishing The LGBT Fund between EJAF and PEPFAR is something we’ve worked towards for a long time in our attempts to make a real and lasting difference in HIV awareness, education and prevention. Just earlier today we visited Anova clinic, a project both EJAF and PEPFAR have funded in the past. The work they are doing through their ‘We the Brave’ programme, the first large scale campaign ever in South Africa to address both prevention and treatment issues in an affirming, non-judgmental and sex positive way, is something for us all to be incredibly proud of. We look forward to building long standing relationships with the International HIV/AIDS Alliance (The Alliance) and the Global Forum on MSM and HIV (MSMGF) in a similar way.”

“We stand with and for LGBT people everywhere who are too often forced into the shadows and lack access to HIV services,” added Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, M.D., U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy. “Together we are putting our words into action to reach LGBT people with HIV services and stop stigma in its tracks.”

This Fund, which will work closely with UNAIDS and other partners, is part of our joint and steadfast efforts to collaborate with community leaders, civil society and service providers – leaving no one behind in the HIV/AIDS response. By providing small grants and targeting projects that support LGBT people in countries with a high HIV burden, the Fund marks an important step toward ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

For more information about PEPFAR, visit www.PEPFAR.gov, www.instagram.com/pepfar, www.twitter.com/PEPFAR, or www.facebook.com/PEPFAR.

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