"It was important for me to come here and see the issues we're up against firsthand," the actress says

By Michelle Tauber
Updated September 16, 2008 05:45 PM
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Scarlett Johansson is returning from a four-day trip to the African nation of Rwanda, where she visited AIDS clinics.

The actress, 23, made the journey with (RED), the initiative to help fight AIDS in Africa through business and consumer power.

“It was important for me to come here and see the issues we’re up against firsthand,” Johansson says in a statement. “I came here with an open mind, wanting to listen, understand and learn; I leave with the overwhelming understanding that the small action of making a (RED) choice in your purchases … has an enormous impact on the lives of people in countries like Rwanda.”