The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) – the largest HIV/AIDS organisation in the world – will be bringing a delegation of young American activists and celebrities to South Africa – Johannesburg and Durban – to engage and exchange information with the youth on matters of sexual health and related social issues.

“We are bringing this delegation to South Africa for the purpose of exposing them to the work that AHF does outside of the United States. South Africa was chosen as a destination because of the extensive network of clinics that AHF provides services to,” says Samantha Granberry, the Vice President AHF World Wide, Marketing and Sales.

“South Africa is also the first country outside of the United States that AHF started outreach programs in, over 16 years ago, which led to the establishment of the Ithembalabantu clinic in Umlazi 2002, so bringing the delegation to South Africa was first prize,” added Granberry.

The engagements with the celebrities are dubbed “Town Hall Discussions” and are a ground-breaking, cross-continental, 360-degree, mass-media, behaviour-change activation that aims to generate international conversation and awareness around HIV/AIDS, sexual health practices, sexual experiences along with cross continental similarities and solutions on HIV/AIDS and societal issues.

The delegation includes AHF ambassador and R&B singer, Goapele Mohlabane, who is featured in two singles from Cassper Nyovest’s latest album ‘Thuto,’ as well as Courtney Burrell, cast member and lead actress of ‘Sexless,’ an American series created by Black & Sexy TV, and Khalilah Dubose, also a cast member of ‘Sexless,’ along with winners from AHF’s 2016 World AIDS Day march in Los Angeles, California.

Black & Sexy TV is an American entertainment and lifestyle network that creates independent TV programming focused on a young, progressive, black audience who seek a truer reflection of their modern culture.

AHF is a proud sponsor of two of the network’s leading series (both of which have been picked up by Black Entertainment TV or BET), which include ‘Sexless,’ a series about female friends who balance no sex with finding real relationships, and ‘Hello Cupid,’ a series about a young, dark-skinned woman who switches her online dating profile picture with that of her lighter-skinned best friend to see how suitors respond.

In addition to the “Town hall” discussions, the delegation will be visiting AHF clinics in Heidelberg, a small town 50km’s east of Johannesburg, and Umlazi’s Ithembalabantu clinic, a township 20km’s south-west of Durban. They will also see other areas of significant cultural importance, such as the Apartheid Museum, Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, Hector Peterson and Regina Mundi Church in Soweto.

“Through this tour, we are hoping to create a platform for conversational and learning exchange between young people from the United States and South Africa. One that would enable them to have a broader and in-depth dialogue on sexual health, social issues and HIV/AIDS as it affects them. In South Africa, women between the ages of 12 to 25 are three times more likely to be infected with HIV/AIDS than their male counterparts, and American youth are also significantly affected by HIV/AIDS.

We believe that hosting this town hall event is a step in the right direction, and the outcome will empower participants, and provide more insights on how best to reach and engage young people with sexual health and HIV/AIDS services or information,” says Dr. Penninah Iutung, AHF Africa Bureau Chief.

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