Charlize Theron and President Zuma Fight HIV/AIDS
This week, South African born actress Charlize Theron returned to her home country, where she met with President Jacob Zuma to discuss methods to help in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Theron has pledged to use her influence as an ambassador for the United Nations, as well as her civil organization, Africa Outreach Project, to support South Africa in its pursuit of “an AIDS-free generation.” She believes that with strong leadership like Zuma’s, the world has the ability to realize this goal.
In 2008, when the United Nations named Theron as a Messenger of Peace, she was tasked with furthering humanitarian efforts such as ending violence against women. Theron furthers that fight by focusing on HIV/AIDS education for young women and girls.
Already, through the concentrated efforts of Theron, Zuma, and organizations such as UNAIDS (a U.N.-backed HIV/AIDS organization), anti-viral drugs have become cheaper and more easily available. According to UNAIDS, South Africa has seen approximately 12 percent fewer HIV infections in the last two years, alone.
Zuma calls the Academy Award-winning actress a “pillar of strength” in the promotion of South African HIV/AIDS programs. Theron and Zuma believe that through their efforts, young South Africans will be able to live healthy, HIV-free lives.