US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Ellen DeGeneres as a special envoy for global AIDS awareness yesterday.

“Your words will encourage Americans in joining you to make their voices heard in our campaign to achieve an AIDS-free generation,” Clinton wrote in a letter to DeGeneres, released yesterday.

“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.”

Responding to her State Department appointment, DeGeneres said in a statement that she was honoured to have been chosen by Clinton.

“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,” she said.

“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go look up what ‘envoy’ means.”

In an address to the US National Institutes of Health this week, Clinton also called criticised laws that criminalise homosexuality, saying they are an obstacle to effective reduction in infection rates — a sentiment echoed by many HIV experts.

Some video of Clinton’s remarks below:

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