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World AIDS Day: Alicia Keys in concert; Twitter turns #Red

December 1, 2009 | 11:23 am


To mark World AIDS Day, Alicia Keys is playing a concert tonight in New York that will stream free of charge on her YouTube channel starting at 5 p.m. PST.

The show benefits the charity Keep a Child Alive, for which Keys is a global ambassador, and will feature songs from her upcoming album. The charity says it provides lifesaving anti-retroviral treatment, care and support services to children and families whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India "by directly engaging the global public in the fight against AIDS."

During the concert, Alicia will also announce a contest, Gossip Cop reports.

The prize? Five winners will travel with her to Africa.

And remember how people turned their Twitter avatars green in support of democracy in Iran after that nation's disputed election back in June? Today in the twittersphere you can turn your messages red by including #Red or World AIDS Day in your tweet.

It's an awareness thing regarding the pandemic worldwide, though some don't like the timing.

Thinking back to 1987, when the day was chosen -- well, a lot has happened since then in the global history of the AIDS pandemic. The Ministry remembers reading "And the Band Played On" in hardback (the Ministry actually remembers books, go figure) and thinking of Africa as a bit player in a story that seemed to be largely about North America and Europe. 

What a difference a couple of decades makes.

Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping and unemployment and tanking economy aside, the Ministry likes to think that timing isn't always everything, and that we can take a break to reflect on what's happening beyond our front door.

Even if it's only for the length of time it takes to retweet a little #Red ink.

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: Alicia Keys performs for the "Today" show in New York on Nov. 24. Credit: Richard Drew / Associated Press.

Related Alicia Keys and charitable dispatches from the Ministry of Gossip:

Jay-Z and Alicia Keys: Rock me out to the ballgame

Adam Lambert promises a 'sexy' performance at tonight's AMAs

Stars and their charities: a cornucopia of post to ponder