Keep A Child Alive
After celebrating with patients who have been helped by Keep A Child Alive donations, Alicia visited a family who lives in the slums of Mombasa. Alicia says she was overwhelmed when she met Sudi, a young man who was born with HIV and didn't receive proper medication until he was 14 years old. At 17, Sudi stood less than four feet tall. "Nothing really prepared me for seeing Sudi and seeing his family," she says.
About a week after Alicia left Kenya, Sudi passed away. "If we knew him when he was 3 and were able to start [treatment], he would still be alive today," Alicia says. "You can totally turn a person's life around by providing this medicine. … It's the simplest thing to save a life. Every one, single person can be a hero for a dollar a day."
Alicia traveled to South Africa to visit the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's Ithembalabantu Clinic, which means "people's hope" in Zulu. This clinic provides free, life-saving drugs to parents and children with HIV and AIDS. "So many more patients are getting the medications they need to survive," Alicia says. Donations from Oprah's viewers also made it possible to hire the first pediatrician for the clinic, Dr. Thompson.
Dr. Thompson says that after a year of treatment at the clinic, most people can't tell an HIV-infected child from a healthy child. "Seeing a child coming in being absolutely a waste, literally a walking skeleton, and then a few months later just seeing the improvement…it's a feeling you can't replace ever," she says.
Alicia thanks Oprah and her viewers for their generosity, and she urges people to continue caring about this global issue. "AIDS is 25 years old. I'm 25 years old. There are 25 million [people] already dead," she says. "There is no reason why we can't join together and realize that this is something we have to do. … On behalf of them, let me be their voice and say that there's so much more to do."
Bono and Alicia Keys's duet can be downloaded at www.keepachildalive.org. The song costs $1.49, and all proceeds go to the Keep A Child Alive organization.