The HIV/AIDS epidemic had a devastating impact all over the world, but nowhere more than in South Africa, which has 7.1 million confirmed cases of the disease. In 2016, about one third of all new HIV cases in the Sub-Saharan African region were in South Africa alone.
Ten years ago, actress and South African native Charlize Theron founded the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP) to help combat the epidemic by supporting community-based organizations that use innovative programs to address the key drivers of the disease. On Monday night, CTAOP members, friends, and donors gathered at the Georgie restaurant in Beverly Hills, Calif., to raise funds and celebrate 10 years of helping keep African youth safe and attempting to end the epidemic.
“CTAOP was a dream of mine for as long as I can remember, ever since I was a young girl in South Africa about to enter my own adolescence when HIV/AIDS started popping its ugly head out in South Africa. People were dying and we didn’t know why and as a young girl it was incredibly frightening,” Theron said. “Every time I went back to South Africa I saw the devastation that HIV was causing. Tonight is a celebration and a thank you to everyone who helped make that dream come true.”
Among the guests in attendance were frequent CTAOP supporter Seth MacFarlane, fellow “The Orville” star Peter Macon, actress Aisha Tyler, and Food Network star Geoffrey Zakarian. The organization raised $100,000 during the night.