Alicia Keys Is Empowering Communities To Be Part Of An AIDS-Free Future

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This coming Sunday, January 19 at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m.), Alicia Keys will present on VH1.com her new special, “We Are Empowered,” an intimate and inspiring conversation with five women living with HIV and AIDS in the United States. Keys aims to show how love, support, and knowledge have not only helped the women in her special, but how those traits can transform the world as we move toward a society without AIDS.

Ahead of the special, Keys talked to us about why she feels communities don’t understand enough about the disease.

“I think what makes people misunderstand HIV is that we aren’t talking about it,” the Grammy-winning singer said. She noted that since the 1980s, when AIDS first grabbed national headlines, people have began to think the disease has generally gone away since it can now be treated. With those medical advances, communities don’t feel the need to educate themselves, not necessarily believing that AIDS is still a major health concern. “A lot of people [also] think ‘It’s not going to happen to me’,” noted Keys, describing that many people don’t feel HIV and AIDS can ever affect them. “I think the overall understanding of how people become infected, or [the fact that] you can’t get AIDS from kissing someone … that makes the perception be different from the reality.”

Remember to join Alicia Keys this upcoming Sunday right here on VH1.com to watch “We Are Empowered,” and find out how you can educate those you love about HIV and AIDS. And just as Keys has gathered five special women for her discussion, get the special people in your life together and host your own watch party. Keys also will be live tweeting throughout the hour using the hashtag #WeAreEmpowered. Join the conversation and share how you are empowered to create awareness about HIV and AIDS.

Share Keys’ passion for ending the disease by tuning in!

The EMPOWERED campaign marks a partnership between Greater Than AIDS and the Kaiser Family Foundation, with support from VH1.