Gates Foundation Awards $47 Million in Grants To Fight HIV/AIDS in India
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Monday announced $47 million in grants to nongovernmental organizations that operate programs aimed at strengthening HIV/AIDS prevention in India, the AP/Las Vegas Sun reports. Rajat Gupta, head of the board of Avahan -- the foundation's Indian AIDS initiative -- said that the funds will help to "significantly expand" access to HIV/AIDS prevention programs among high-risk groups in the Indian states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Manipur and Nagaland (Mahapatra, AP/Las Vegas Sun, 3/15). The grants include $13 million to Voluntary Health Services for projects in 16 districts of Tamil Nadu; $10.5 million to Family Health International and $8.5 million to Pathfinder International for projects in Mumbai, Thane and 10 other districts in Maharashtra; $10 million to Population Services International for improving and providing new facilities for sexually transmitted disease treatment in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra; and $5 million to the Australian International Health Institute for HIV prevention services for injection drug users and other high-risk groups in Manipur and Nagaland. With the new round of grants, the Gates Foundation has provided a total of $114.5 million for HIV/AIDS projects in India, the Hindu reports (Hindu, 3/16). The funding, which will bolster the current efforts of the Indian government in HIV/AIDS prevention, will go toward promoting condom use, encouraging responsible sexual behavior and improving the diagnosis and treatment of STDs, according to the AP/Sun (AP/Las Vegas Sun, 3/15). Avahan -- which in Sanskrit means "call to action" -- was launched as part of the Gates Foundation's $200 million pledge to combat HIV/AIDS in India, where approximately 4.6 million people are living with the disease (Los Angeles Times, 3/16). Gupta said that the next round of grants will be announced "in the next few months," according to the Hindu (Hindu, 3/16).
Additional information on HIV/AIDS in India is available online at kaisernetwork.org, including a kaisernetwork.org video feature on India and facts about the epidemic in India with links to other sources of information.