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HIV & AIDS Health Center

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Alicia Keys Gives Back to Kids Affected by HIV and AIDS

Singer/songwriter and new mom Alicia Keys tells WebMD what drives her to travel the world to help children, plus how you can help!

Keeping AIDS from Spreading in Africa

And when resistance sets in? "That's the difference between first-line and second-line medications," Guay explains. "We try to offer the affordable, easy-to-manage drugs first. Then, over time, bring out others."

Keys points out that securing funding and accessibility for these second-line medications has become KCA's most important goal. "That, and we're so close to finding a cure," says Keys.

"Already, new research has shown that in 96% of cases, patients on ARVs aren't spreading the disease," Keys says. "That means AIDS can be stopped. Our ultimate goal is for Keep a Child Alive not to exist. When there are no more infected kids or parents, we would love, most of all, not to be needed."

"Alicia is right," Guay confirms. "What we've seen is that in discordant couples, where one spouse is HIV-positive and the other isn't, when the positive partner is given ARVs, in more than 95% of cases he isn't transmitting HIV to his spouse, even if they are sexually active.

"ARVs decrease viral loads to undetectable levels, making the likelihood of infecting someone else, or a mother transmitting the virus to her child, decrease significantly," Guay adds. "It's not a cure yet, but it's a significant development in halting the spread of AIDS in these populations."

Keys' Creativity and Career

Like so many working mothers, Keys juggles pressing commitments while trying to strike a balance between work and family. In addition to her ongoing activism with KCA, there is, of course, her mega-recording career. (Her breakout album, Songs in A Minor, was just re-released to celebrate its 10th anniversary.) She also acts. She was last seen opposite Queen Latifah and Jennifer Hudson in the 2008 film The Secret Life of Bees. She produces, too, bringing the play Stick Fly to Broadway this winter. Keys writes on her blog: "To produce a play like this is a dream come true… And to have the chance to share it with an audience, night after night, in a beautiful theater, on the streets that I walked everyday as a kid with only 'a pocket full of dreams' can only be described as modern-day magic."

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