The signing ceremony was held on 8 September 2010 under the auspices of K. Chandramouli, Secretary and Director General of National AIDS Control Organisation, in their office at New Delhi, and was attended by Professor Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund and James Robertson, Country Director of India HIV/AIDS Alliance.
Investing in the health of populations at risk of HIV infection has been a high priority for India. The national HIV prevalence among MSM is estimated at 7.41%. This has been attributed to low awareness levels, unsafe sexual practices, inadequate services, and social marginalisation.
Professor Kazatchkine observed, "This work is of great importance, involving civil society working with marginalised groups and linking these populations to government systems."
This new five-year grant will support 200 community-based organisations in 17 states and reach more than 450,000 MSM, hijras and transgenders. The project will be implemented by Alliance India and six regional partners that have pioneered HIV programming for these populations.
Since its inception in 1999, Alliance India has been a leader in fostering the development of community-driven approaches to HIV prevention, care and support.
James Robertson, Country Director of Alliance India added, "The Global Fund has been a major partner in supporting India's response to the HIV epidemic. This new grant reflects the strong commitment of both the Global Fund and the Indian Government to address HIV in those communities most vulnerable to infection."
MSM, hijra and transgender communities in India have been making steady progress in fighting HIV, and this new grant will contribute significantly to these efforts.
The National AIDS Control Programme III (2007-2012) defines MSM as any man who has sex with another man, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, not considering the fact that he is also having sex with women.
Transgender populations are an umbrella term used for all who do not fall in the binary construct of “male/female gender” and include transvestites, transsexuals, intersexed/ hermaphrodites.
In addition, India has a specific sub-group of transgender people, the Hijras (or Aravanis in South India), who have a subculture of their own with specific norms and customs. The Hijras are organised in a strict hierarchy. The total sub-population is 350,000.
For further information please contact
James Robertson, Country Director, India HIV/AIDS Alliance, +91-11-4163 3081 Ext. 111