Ellen DeGeneres

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has named Emmy award-winning lesbian talk show host Ellen DeGeneres as America’s Special Envoy for Global AIDS Awareness.

Clinton made the announcement during a speech on Tuesday at the National Institutes of Health.

“Our new Special Envoy for Global AIDS Awareness: Ellen DeGeneres,” said Clinton.

“And Ellen is going to bring not only her sharp wit and her big heart, but her impressive TV audience and more than 8 million followers on Twitter, to raise awareness and support for this effort.

“I know we can look forward to many contributions from Ellen and her loyal fans across the globe,” added Clinton.

DeGeneres said in statement that she was honoured to have been chosen as the Special Envoy.

“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.

“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go look up what ‘envoy’ means,” said DeGeneres, who has 5.8 million Facebook fans.

In addition to past work supporting HIV/AIDS awareness, the popular talk show host and comedienne has campaigned for a number of other causes including animal rights, breast cancer awareness and opposing gay-bullying.

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