Groups taking on AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean are the inaugural beneficiaries of a $10 million fund established last year by Elton John to fight discrimination and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reports. The singer announced the support for the International HIV/AIDS Alliance and the Global Forum on MSM & HIV Thursday at an AIDS conference in South Africa.
The LGBT Fund was launched in November by the Elton John AIDS Foundation and U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, a government program. The new grants aim to boost local groups’ work to prevent the spread of HIV and efforts to treat people with HIV and AIDS. The size of the awards was not disclosed.
Most African nations have laws that criminalize homosexuality, and some also bar advocacy on behalf of sexual minorities, according to research by the European Parliament. "We're going to help all the LGBT people in countries that find it very difficult to be LGBT to know that we are on their side," Mr. John said.