The Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced that it will invest $23 million over three years to enhance the capacity of India's HIV-prevention efforts.
The commitment, which will focus on program management and technical capacity at the national and state levels, is part of an additional $58 million committed to Avahan, the foundation's five-year, $258 million HIV prevention initiative in India. The new funding will support the training of staff at the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) and various State AIDS Control Societies to enhance their skills in project and financial management. In addition, Avahan will offer support to enhance interventions with key populations such as sex workers and their clients, homosexual males, and users of injectible drugs. The funds will be dispersed between 2007-09; NACO and Avahan will jointly create the implementation strategy.
"The government of India is taking the AIDS challenge seriously, and there's real hope that a widespread epidemic can be prevented," said Dr. Tadataka Yamada, president of the Gates Foundation's Global Health Program. "We are pleased to continue our commitment to Avahan, and proud to be a partner with the government of India."