Charlize Theron Calls On Young People To End AIDS By 2030

Published on July 19, 2016

CHARLIZE THERON has called on young people to end the AIDS epidemic by the year 2030.

Charlize Thero

In a speech at the 21st International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa on Monday (18Jul16), the Mad Max: Fury Road star, 40, spoke passionately about her desire to see an end to AIDS, the common name for acquired immune deficiency syndrome, the often fatal immune condition caused by infection with the HIV virus.

“Since the first International AIDS Conference in 1985, we have been counting up, all the way to 21. Now it’s time for us to start counting down. We have set a goal to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030,” she said.

AIDS is most commonly transmitted through sexual contact, is most prevalent among impoverished populations, particularly in Africa. When the disease first emerged in the 1980s it was commonly associated with the gay community.

And in her speech at the now biennial event, the star blamed the treatment of certain groups for the lack of a cure for the disease and called for more urgency in efforts to find a cure.

“The real reason we haven’t beaten the (AIDS) epidemic boils down to one simple fact: We value some lives more than others,” she said. “We value men more than women. Straight love more than gay love. White skin more than black skin. The rich more than the poor. Adults more than adolescents.”

Charlize then announced that she would be founding a campaign through her Africa Outreach Project, called #GenEndIt, to encourage young people to end social injustice in order to help the fight against AIDS.

She continued, “If we are going to end AIDS, we must cure the disease in our hearts and minds first. And I believe young people are the ones to do it. Young people have always been drivers of social change. And this generation holds unique promise. This is the generation that is shattering taboos and redefining old notions of gender, sexuality, and racial justice.”

Charlize Thero

Asking conference attendees to back young people in the fight against injustice, she added, “If we support our young people, if we give them the confidence and the space to speak out against bigotry and injustice, and if we take the time to listen and empower them, they will end this epidemic.”

Charlize is not the only famous name to attend the International AIDS Conference, as musician Elton John and British royal Prince Harry are co-hosting a panel at the event, which runs until Friday (22Jul16).