South Africa’s First Lady‚ Tobeka Zuma‚ on Wednesday thanked her husband‚ President Jacob Zuma‚ for taking bold steps to take the country from denial to taking responsibility for the HIV epidemic.

She was speaking after being appointed as UNAIDS Special Advocate for the Health of Women‚ Children and Youth.

The appointment was made on Wednesday by UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé at a special ceremony in Pretoria.

At the same ceremony‚ Mr Sidibé and Mrs Zuma signed a Memorandum of Understanding between UNAIDS and the Tobeka Madiba Zuma Foundation‚ formalising UNAIDS support to the work of Mrs Zuma’s foundation.

Mrs Zuma will use her position as UNAIDS Special Advocate to speak out on a local‚ regional and global level on issues related to women’s sexual and reproductive health‚ including HIV and TB‚ and especially on HIV prevention among young adolescent girls and young women.

The Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations will advance their mutual work on HIV‚ women’s health and advancing the agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals.

“I would like to thank UNAIDS for having worked with myself and the TMZ Foundation for the last few years. I would also like to thank my husband‚ President Jacob Zuma‚ for taking bold steps to take us from denial to taking responsibility for the HIV epidemic‚” said Mrs Zuma.

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