Did Alicia Keys’ ‘Digital Death’ Stunt Do More Harm Than Good???

- By Bossip Staff

This may come as a surprise to you, but that “Digital Death” campaign launched by A. Keys-Dean and her Beaky Boo wasn’t very well planned out. Oh, we said that already? Here’s something else they didn’t think about.

A young AIDS activist is asking Alicia, Lady Gaga, Serena Williams, Ryan Seacrest and the other celebs who took part of the illfated World AIDS Day Campaign to take a look at what they’re actions have actually done.

Here is his World AIDS Day experience:

I remember telling these youth that HIV/AIDS was not and is not a death sentence! Sharing the story of when my mother had asked me, “David, do you want to live or do you want to die?” I remembered saying with tears in my eyes “Momma I want to live!” And the reason why I was in front of them was because I knew at that moment that I was not given a death sentence but a chance to help educate those who were sexually at risk . My ending message to those 1500 youth was not death rather, “GET TESTED KNOW YOUR STATUS” , because there is HOPE! I gave them all my “Call Me” number to Call Me if they had any questions about HIV/AIDS and or STI’s and they did…

This pilot program launched by The University of Chicago’s Comer Hospital called; “Call Me” was created to provide peer support that educates and empowers young adults in the South Chicagoland and NW Indiana areas to acquire ACCURATE information about sexual wellness and testing for HIV and sexually transmitted infections. That day I received myriads of texts messages and phone calls concerning was HIV/AIDS a death sentence. A few calls I received that evening asking me, “Why did Kim Kardashian, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Hudson, Lady GaGa and Alicia Keys etc then take pictures in a coffin on World Aids Day and say they were digitally dying?” The young lady said, “All of my friends now really believe AIDS is a death sentence.” Stunned and numbed I could not form a sentence. I reassured her that there are medications to help sustain those who have been infected by the virus.

This media campaign is an atomic bomb to those in the prevention and education sectors of HIV who are on the ground level everyday not sacrificing our lives, but living selflessly to disseminate pertinent HIV information to high school and college students worldwide. These celebrities put a 1 million price tag on there digital dying and moreover made HIV a fashionable thing. What about 1 million people getting tested, what about 1 free song download to every person who got tested? Why so reactive and not proactive?

As a spokesperson, advocate, activist, and person living with HIV and brother of a person who lives with AIDS, I’d like to have these questions answered specifically by those celebrities who laid in those coffins in order to beautify such a nasty disease more over to ask them how many deaths can one really have i.e. digital? Especially when talking about an infectious disease that the CDC reports that every 9 ½ minutes a person is infected with HIV.

Moreover, I’d like to know how the U.S Government (PEPFAR) feels about this since they have extended 7 billion dollars to the prevention and research for HIV/AIDS. This marketing stint has done the polar opposite of prevention. It has given many youth and adolescents the fear factor, some the understanding that you can buy back your life and a myriad of other ram shackle thoughts.

Do you think these celebs caused more miseducation and panic than anything else with their little charity stunt?? Should they kick off a new campaign focused on educating the teens who follow them??


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