Three AJWS Grantees Win U.N. Red Ribbon Award for HIV/AIDS Prevention


Three AJWS Grantees Win U.N. Red Ribbon Award for HIV/AIDS Prevention

May 13, 2010

Three of AJWS's grantees, The Independent Project for Equal Rights (TIP) and Physicians for Social Justice (PSJ) in Nigeria and Comite Contra el SIDA (CoCoSi) in El Salvador, have been awarded the prestigious 2010 Red Ribbon Award in recognition of their leadership to reduce the spread and impact of HIV/AIDS.

Founded and led by young people, TIP defends the human rights of sexual minorities in Nigeria. Through legal aid, advocacy and education, TIP promotes inclusive HIV/AIDS treatment programs and provides skill-building workshops and health referrals to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Nigerians. Since 2008, AJWS has been supporting TIP's efforts to implement programs on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, expand access to treatment and offer legal assistance to individuals facing prosecution because of their sexual orientation.

PSJ was founded in 2003 by young Nigerian physicians who were determined to achieve the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goals related to health and human rights by assisting underserved communities. PSJ operates mobile clinic services in rural Mashegu, northern Nigeria, where maternal and child mortality rates are above the national average. The organization also helps women, orphans and vulnerable children gain access to health services. For four years, AJWS has supported PSJ in procuring medical supplies for its rural clinics, implementing programs on HIV/AIDS prevention and building the capacity of community leaders to advocate for essential health services, facilities and incentives to retain health workers in rural areas.

CoCoSi was established in 1999 to promote education and awareness of HIV/AIDS. The organization runs workshops in schools, military bases and in prisons. AJWS funds CoCoSi's Peer Education for HIV Prevention project to strengthen sexual and reproductive health among young men and women through peer-led education and outreach.

"We are deeply moved by the brave work of TIP, PSJ and CoCoSi and are extraordinarily proud that their achievements are being recognized," said AJWS president Ruth Messinger. "At a time when global HIV/AIDS prevention is being seriously threatened, the work that these organizations do has never been more important."

In commemoration of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17, AJWS applauds the efforts of grassroots organizations like TIP, PSJ and CoCoSi that are advancing the health and human rights of people with HIV/AIDS regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.