Charlize: Let's talk about sex, save lives
When Hollywood star Charlize Theron first joined in a sex education lesson in 2007 "nobody asked anything", she said.
"The idea of raising your hand and asking questions about sex in front of your peers was just something that was never heard of."
But the Benoni star and UN messenger for peace said talking about sex and health was becoming more acceptable among teenagers.
"I think we are breaking through this barrier that it is not cool to talk about sex.
"I think it is changing. It has to change because it is the only way to save lives," the celebrity said.
Theron visited WhizzKids, an NGO in Edendale, Pietermaritzburg, yesterday.
The organisation offers life skills courses and sex education to about 6,000 teenagers.
Asked by journalists why people outside South Africa should even care about HIV, Theron replied: "Aids is the No1 killer of teens in Africa and it is the No2 killer of teenagers globally. This is not just an African issue."
WhizzKids receives a grant from the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Foundation, which supports seven local projects that support teenagers by offering healthcare, HIV prevention and life skills courses.
The NGO also offers drama classes inside the clinics so that no one knows if the teenager is there for HIV treatment or participating in a class.