Charlize Theron Meets South African President Jacob Zuma, Talks AIDS Crisis
By Daniel Gates | 1:20 pm, July 29th, 2013
Charlize Theron met with South African president Jacob Zuma on Monday, discussing AIDS education in her disease-ravaged home country.
The Oscar winner serves as an ambassador for the United Nations and works on social issues through organizations like Africa Outreach Project.
“It’s always very special to return home and when I’m able to lend my support,” she was quoted as saying at the event in Pretoria. “We have come so far in this country with our HIV program. We have the highest number of people who are in HIV treatment, but we still have challenges.”
She continued, “Young girls should be empowered enough to protect themselves… The school environment should be safe for that to happen.”
“We can never stop talking about this disease,” said Theron. “If we don’t feel safe in our environment to talk about it, we cannot combat it.”
Zuma hailed the Hollywood star as a “pillar of strength” in promoting AIDS programs.
“Today has been a very special day with this good citizen of ours joining us,” he was quoted as saying. “We believe the education of young people goes a long way to prevent any escalation of the disease. That’s what Charlize has been doing.”