As a philanthropist and AIDs activist, Alicia Keys has been using her Grammy award-winning talent and fame to do some real good in the world. She even co-founded "Keep a Child Alive," an organization that has raised millions to care for HIV/AIDS patients in Africa and India!
"So, as I've grown, you know, I think one of the things that I've realized is that there are not the headlines about the AIDS pandemic here in America that there should be, and it is shocking, and it is unacceptable. Yet we're not speaking about it, and so that's what's kind of brought me around to really becoming a part of what I like to say, 'bridging the conversation' so that there's not only an international conversation, there's not only a domestic conversation, there's a global conversation that we can all be a part of."
Her new campaign is called Empowered, and phase one has a video of Alicia and five HIV-positive women. They are, according to the source:
'Stephanie, a college graduate diagnosed at 19; and Kym, diagnosed three years ago after her new husband got sick and died of the disease (she did not know he'd been HIV-positive for a decade). Cristina, a graduate student born with the virus; Jen, a wife and mother who was diagnosed at 18; and Eva, a wife, mother, grandmother and home health care professional who found out she was HIV-positive when she was just 17 — and pregnant.'
All of these women then share their stories and how they want to change how the world deals with HIV/AIDS.
"We can't act like it's not happening. We have to make sure we know that we're all at risk. This is all of our issues, you know. This doesn't make you bad. … You shouldn't feel like you're ashamed. We have to make sure that we are demanding access to being tested. We have to demand access to treatment with dignity."
This is absolutely something we want to reiterate. Yes, we all need to be careful not to get the disease in the first place, but contracting the disease should not be an end to who you are as a person. You do not have to live under it, regardless of how society views it at the moment. You are yourself and there is treatment. We do not want ANYONE to feel shame for being HIV positive!
One in four people living with HIV is a woman, so Alicia Keys' goals are imperative!
We can't go on pretending that the disease doesn't exist, and that we don't know anyone who has it. We need to talk about it, to de-sensitize the world to it… and then crush it with science!
Until we can get rid of it, we better be giving those who have it the same kind of treatment we give anyone, instead of judgmental looks!
Get it done, Alicia! Amazing!
[Image via WENN.]