Exclusive Interview with GGHTx Co-Founder, Avi Kerendian




(GGHTx clinic in Guadalajara, Mexico offering free public health wellness seminars for locals.)


Avi Kerendian began his career at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where he conducted a series of related research papers, later going on to start the nonprofit organization, GGHTx, focused on solving the problems of poverty and public health in Latin America and Africa.


Their newest project, in collaboration with Zidan Benevolence International, an NGO in Uganda, focuses on health-related practices relating to HIV/AIDS that can benefit young people and adults in general. When asked about the project, Avi Kerendian shared:


“We started to prioritize serving marginalized gay men with active relationships, as this is the subgroup that is most vulnerable to HIV.”


This helped to raise awareness for countless people who were afraid of seeking preventative health practices, such as using condoms for fear of social stigma and pressure about who they liked.  GGHTx has the strongest impact in rural areas.

To date, more than 50 volunteers have joined forces with GGHTx and packed their bags to travel overseas to make a difference in the world. These volunteers include dozens of medical and dental students who are willing to roll up their sleeves to help.


One of GGHTx co-founders and medical directors, Dr. Arash Hakhamian, had this to share:


“There must be a sense of humanity and, after Avi Kerendian was inspired to do something, we are pleased that more and more people are recognizing the importance of advancing and contributing to the cause of the humanities. It is thanks to you – your incessant attempts – that things have changed for the better.”


With the right training, a toothbrush, vitamins and antibiotics in the right hands can be a powerful, life-saving tool. This revelation has strengthened GGHTx’s commitment to lead and expand with other local nonprofits in Mexico and Uganda.


“I am confident that our nonprofit will continue to gain momentum and become a force leading to a world of greater justice and health. Like others on the journey, we realize what a truly humbling and honorable experience tis has been. We can no longer ignore what is happening in places like Ugandan villages around the world.” It is this core idea that inspired Avi Kerendian to continue leading the mission and journey of GGHTx.  


Ultimately, there is only so much one person can do as a volunteer. Joining forces with other NGOs and nonprofits can be the most effective way to solve today’s global health problems.


“The focus is on achieving results that make a lasting and long-term difference,” shares Avi Kerendian. “What we need is a global system that is more sustainable and starts from the very top, not just in the United States or Canada.”


When asked to comment on the status of their medical mission work in a time of global pandemics and quarantine, Avi Kerendian had this to share:


“As co-founder of GGHTx, I believe that volunteers have stayed in touch more than at any other time, to offer their help and expertise. Given the challenges we face with the coronavirus, it is truly extraordinary. But, we are turning to telehealth measures that will help provide sustainable change even during COVID-19 and at the same time keep our volunteers safe.”


Together we will very soon break the COVID 19 cycle and soon will all be traveling again. Whether, as a volunteer, an individual exploring the world, or giving back to the less fortunate. With canceled flights and trips, GGHTx has allowed volunteers to switch their trip date for up to 18 months free of charge as a way to mitigate losses.


To slow the spread of COVID 19, many other nonprofits have also suspended their current mission trips in the medical and dental field. Instead, some are working with partners like, Dentulu, or “the Uber of dentistry” on telemedicine projects that will allow doctors, dentists, and students to access a wide range of medical, dental and other health services. Latin American and African medical staff and dentists can also apply as volunteers for their first year of training.