South Africa's first senior official to reveal his HIV-positive status was appointed to the country's Constitutional Court, Pink News reports.

Supreme Court of Appeals judge Edwin Cameron's appointment—originally blocked by South Africa's former President Thabo Mbeki—was announced on New Year's Eve by President Kgaleme Motlanthe. Cameron will serve a non-renewable term of 12 years.

Justice Cameron participated in the XVII International AIDS Conference last August in Mexico City, where he spoke out against the criminalization of HIV transmission and exposure.

“HIV is a virus, not a crime,” Cameron said during his plenary speech at the conference.