Who better to spread the word of an “AIDS -free generation”? Our beloved lesbian sister Ellen Degeneres was appointed Global HIV/AIDS Envoy by the equally awesome Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The announcement was made on Tuesday at an address to the National Institute of Health. “Your words will encourage Americans in joining you to make their voices heard in our campaign to achieve an AIDS-free generation,” Secretary Clinton wrote to DeGeneres in a letter released Tuesday. “The enormous platform of your television show and your social media channels will enable you to reach millions of people with the strong and hopeful message that we can win this fight.”
Hellz Ya! With the success of her show, and her amazing advocacy work for queers and straights alike, her standing in contemporary culture puts her in the best position to spread the HIV/AIDS prevention agenda.
“I’m honored to have been chosen by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as Special Envoy for Global AIDS awareness. The fight against AIDS is something that has always been close to my heart. And I’m happy that I can use my platform to educate people and spread hope,” said Degeneres in a statement. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go look up what ‘envoy’ means.” My sentiments exactly.
For those of you who are in the same boat as Ellen and I (nice pairing don’t you think?) Dictionary.com states that an Envoy is ” a representative of a government who is sent on a special diplomatic mission.” Right, just as I suspected (?).
Clinton also made some very strong statements and raised some great questions at the address.
In the NIH address, Clinton called for increased voluntary male circumcision as well as more support for antiretroviral medication regimens among those infected — both of which contribute to an “ideal intervention that prevents people from being infected in the first place.” Recent studies have shown that HIV-infected individuals taking antiretroviral drugs are substantially less likely to infect sexual partners.
She also put much of the onus on the government.
Clinton called on Washington — as well as nations that have the economic means to adequately fund HIV/AIDS programs but have been unwilling to do so — to make such initiatives a priority. “In these difficult budget times, we have to remember that investing in our future is the smartest investment we can make,” Clinton said.
The secretary also criticized laws that criminalize homosexuality, saying they are an obstacle to effective reduction in infection rates — a sentiment echoed by many HIV experts.
The Obama government has also pledged $60 million towards the fight.
via @ The Advocate
In The Headlines:
Jeremy Kinser. The Advocate. Rob Reiner Making Film About Marriage Equality. November 7, 2011.
Dan Avery. Queerty. UPDATE: Hollywood Sleaze Brett Ratner Won’t Produce Oscars Because of ‘Fags’. November 8, 2011.
Huffington Post: Gay Voices: Buddy and Pedro, ‘Gay” Penguin Couple, To Be Seperated By Toronto Zoo. November 7, 2011.