(NEW YORK) — For the past decade, Alicia Keys has been quietly using her voice to save others, pushing prevention and treatment for HIV, with her organization Keep a Child Alive, in the towns and villages of Africa.
This week, the Grammy-winning singer and songwriter sat with ABC News’ David Muir during a visit to New York, her hometown, to reignite an important conversation in the United States.
“Talking about HIV-AIDS, you know, it’s critical and it is our generation’s issue and if we don’t talk about it now, it’s going to continue,” she said. “We tend to have a good international dialogue, like a good, healthy dialogue, but we’re not really discussing it in America. … We have to learn as much as we can and we have to share with as many people we can.”
Keys is now behind a new project called Empowered, sitting down and conversing with women from all over the U.S. who are living with HIV and surviving.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re positive, if you’re negative, whatever the case, you’re at risk, your children are at risk,” she said. “We have to talk about it, and we have to be able to dialogue [about] it again. … I think we’ve gotten a bit complacent, just feeling like it’s not something that will happen to us.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.1 million people are living with HIV in the U.S. One in four Americans infected with HIV-AIDS are women and one in 32 women of color will become infected.
“This is our collective problem,” Keys said. “They’re your sister. … They’re your aunties. They’re your daughters. … We have a lot of work to do and we have a lot to talk about.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Susan Scutti, CNN
Heather Simonsen, KSL.com
Kevin Conlon, Euan McKirdy and Johanzynn Gatewood, CNN