Rae Lewis Thornton Uses Her AIDS Status To Educate

“World AIDS Day takes place on December 1st each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day. Globally, there are an estimated 36.7 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.” SOURCE

In honor of World AIDS Day, I was able to speak with Emmy Award-winning AIDS Activist, Rae Lewis-Thornton, about living with AIDS and how she uses her status to educate, misconceptions about AIDS, advice for those who have contracted HIV/AIDS and how to disclose your STD status, .

Rae Lewis-Thornton is the first African-American woman to tell her story of living with AIDS on a national magazine cover story, Essence December 1994. She has been featured on countess other tv shows and magazines. NIghtline, Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, Huffington Post Live, HLN News, O’ Magazine, Woman’s Day, Ebony, Jet, HIV Plus, POZ, Heart and Soul, Glamour and the list goes on and on. For over 20 years, she has traveled worldwide challenging stereotypes and myths around HIV/AIDS. Rae is a blogger and uses social media heavily to educate around HIV. She is the author of two books and is currently completing her memoir, Unprotected. Rae is an ordained minster, jewelry and knit accessory desinger of her namesake line RLT Collection. She has been living with HIV for 34 years and AIDS for 26 years. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @raelt and visit her website and shop her handcrafted accessories at www.rltcollection.com.

Also check out our previous episode about HIV Awareness and Testing

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