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Singer Alicia Keys Promotes HIV Awareness At Harlem Hospital

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Harlem native Alicia Keys was back home Thursday to help raise awareness about HIV and AIDS.

The Grammy award-winning R&B singer took part in a community forum at Harlem Hospital.

As WCBS 880's Ginny Kosola reported, more than a million people in the U.S. are living with HIV and AIDS. Of those, about half are African-American.

Singer Alicia Keys Promotes HIV Awareness At Harlem Hospital

"We don't see people just dropping off like flies and dying. We don't physically see someone becoming a skeleton and then not being able to live any longer and just dying. We saw that 30 years ago and so that was why there was such an outrage. It was like 'I'm not going to just let people just die in front of me,'" said Keys.

She said talking about it is important to arriving at an AIDS-free generation.

Rep. Charles Rangel, Alicia Keys at HIV community forum
Rep. Charles Rangel, Alicia Keys (seated, L-R) at HIV community forum at Harlem Hospital, August 22, 2013. (credit: Ginny Kosola/WCBS 880)

While the message remains the same - get tested and use protection to help fight the spread of HIV - Keys said it's important to keep promoting that message.

"We definitely can't be ignorant. It's unacceptable, those statistics," said Keys.

"We have started to see much more complacency and so that's what a lot of this is all about - how do we get some of that sense of urgency," CARE USA President and CEO Dr. Helene Gayle said.

Former professional basketball player Vin Baker and Rep. Charles Rangel also took part in the forum.

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