South Africa's former deputy president, Jacob Zuma, has testified at his rape trial that he does not have HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Zuma's statement came during cross-examiniation Tuesday as he spent his second day on the witness stand in a Johannesburg court.

Zuma's accuser, a 31-year-old family friend, is HIV-positive and an AIDS activist.

Zuma said he had unprotected sex with the woman because, in his words, he knew the risk of getting infected was minimal.

He also said that on the night in question, the woman encouraged him to have intercourse.

The 63-year-old politician has said he believes the rape charges are part of a plot to derail his political career.

Zuma was once seen as the leading candidate to succeed President Thabo Mbeki, until he was fired last year amid allegations of corruption.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.