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Ellen DeGeneres Named AIDS Envoy; US Pledges $60 Million In New Funding

Ellen Degeneres

By BRADLEY KLAPPER   11/ 8/11 11:29 AM ET   AP

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration has announced $60 million in additional funding to fight AIDS transmission in sub-Saharan Africa, and a new special envoy to raise global awareness about the deadly disease: Ellen DeGeneres.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the actress will "bring her sharp wit and big heart, and her impressive TV audience and 8 million followers on Twitter" to support U.S. efforts to save the lives of those suffering from HIV/AIDS.

Clinton says the money will help scale up and assess new prevention strategies.

She said Tuesday that more effective prevention methods were driving infections down, making it possible to treat more people. She said that is allowing health campaigners for the first time to "get ahead of the pandemic," and make progress toward establishing an AIDS-free generation.

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Filed by Jessica Prois  |