Acting President David Mabuza and chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council has challenged traditional leaders to champion the fight against HIV/AIDS.

He says their voice would assist to end the ignorance, discrimination and stigma associated with HIV.

Mabuza delivered the keynote address at a World AIDS Day event in Dobsonville, Soweto on Saturday.

He says government will work with the youth, business and traditional leaders to fight HIV/AIDS. Mabuza says it’s unacceptable that women are unable to negotiate condom use with their partners.

“If there was any time where the voice and weight of our traditional leaders is required to champion this course – it is now. Traditional leaders are very important to address the question of tradition, tradition that seeks to escalate or protect certain tendencies that seeks to escalate this disease. Traditional leaders will be helpful to deal with the issue of patriarchy, in certain instances it is embedded in our traditions and it must be confronted.”