Power of Women: Charlize Theron’s Africa Outreach Project Supports HIV/AIDS Prevention in S. Africa

Org supports nonprofits operating in thesp's native South Africa that provide HIV-related services to impoverished communities

The Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, which works to assist HIV/AIDS prevention in Theron’s native South Africa, might bear the actress’s name, but when Theron established the org in 2007, the last thing she wanted was to go it alone.

“The idea of the program at its birth was really to see how we could help existing prevention organizations under an umbrella of prevention care,” she says. “Even though we do a lot of ground work in finding the organizations to support, the real work is done by the organizations that are living and breathing in those communities where the numbers are so incredibly high.”

South Africa suffers from truly catastrophic HIV rates, yet accessibility issues have long hampered prevention efforts in some of the most desperate communities. Despite logging one of the highest infection rates on earth (in 2009, 39% of the region’s population of 10 million was infected), the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province contained only three HIV treatment orgs back when Theron’s org was founded. “You drive through today, and it’s nothing like it was back then,” she says.

SEE ALSO: Nicole Kidman, Amy Pascal, Amy Poehler, Charlize Theron, Kerry Washington: Variety’s Power of Women

Theron credits her South African background with helping her connect to communities and organizations that might have been suspicious of international meddling. “You have to know the people you’re dealing with if you want to create something that in 10 years can be completely sustainable,” she says.

The Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project

Supports nonprofits operating in South Africa that provide mobile health services, education, screenings, HIV testing, treatment and other HIV-related services to impoverished communities (Charlizeafricaoutreach.org).

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 1

Leave a Reply

1 Comment

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Michael says:

    Really proud and impressed by Charlize…I’m doing an assignment/research which I chose to write about Charlize and I didn’t know about the CTAOP till now…I’d like to say I’m inspired really and thanks for the article:)…#double thumbs up to Charlize Theron

More Biz News from Variety

Loading