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Rae Lewis-Thornton

Rae Lewis-Thornton Speaks

Sophie's Mommie
August 15, 2012

I always wanted children -- well, not quite children, a child, a little girl -- but AIDS took that away from me. It was a hard decision to not have children but I made it. Having such a rocky entrance into this world and an even rockier childhood I had some very clear ideas about how children should be brought into this world. My bottom line: Bring children into the world when your circumstances permit. I wasn't really opposed to being a single parent, but if I was struggling to put food on the table, well then my circumstances didn't permit. I've been a one-woman show since I was a senior in high school, when I got put out for being 15 minutes late for curfew, 12:15. Mama said, "Go back where you just came from bitch," and I've been putting bread on my table ever since.

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Living in the Impossible ...
August 15, 2012

Since I made that transition to AIDS in 1992 it seems like I've lived in the impossible. I can't remember a day since the months going into my official AIDS diagnosis that I've felt "normal." Even today with a T-cell count of 618 and a non-detectable viral load I have so much going on with my health that I feel like absolute shit. I've learned that the absolutes with AIDS tend to be dark to grey and that's not the best life to live in, but it's all I got.

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Give Up My Waffle Fries? Are You Kidding Me? But ...
August 8, 2012

Give up my waffle fries? Are You Kidding Me? Have you lost your mind? I love love love Chick-fil-A.

Those waffle fries are so freakin good, the potato addict that I am cannot live without them.

And I LOVE those chicken nuggets. Chick-fil-A is some of the best fast food I've EVER had and let's not forget that Banana Pudding Milkshake, it will make you slap someone it's so good.

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Monday Reflection: There's a Brighter Side of Darkness
August 6, 2012

I sooooo want to be mad. I'm tired as all get out from travel drama but something inside of me won't take me there. My flight got cancelled last night coming home from Blog Her 12. Weather, what weather? It's sunny outside and sunny in Chicago; these people are mad, I thought!

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Blog Her: Day One! I'm Growing!
August 2, 2012

I made it to New York after a short flight delay... My BFF Luke picked me up and treated me to a French Restaurant in Harlem and then we picked up dessert from Sylvia's, went home and shared it with tea. It was such a wonderful way to end the day! He helped me download Pandora on my iPad and created some play lists. I love Luke he keeps me hip. LOL.

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Purpose Over Pride ...
August 1, 2012

I'm so excited that I haven't been able to sleep for the last few nights! I'm headed to the largest and most powerful Blogger's Conference in the country, Blog Her. I missed the International AIDS Conference because I couldn't afford it. Registration was $975.00, not including travel and hotel. I was sitting around last week all sad, then I thought about missing BlogHer12 too and gloom set in. I had to shake that sadness and made a decision right then, if there was anyway I could work it out I had to go to Blog Her. I had to make it happen. Well, the Bible says we have not because we ask not and sometimes you have to let your pride go and I did just that. You can miss your blessing holding onto unnecessary pride.

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Truvada: A Victory for Sure ... But ...
July 17, 2012

Just a week before the International AIDS Conference opens in Washington, DC AIDS organizations across the US is hailing this as a win in the fight against the spread of HIV. Even the AIDS Foundations of Chicago established a program over a year ago in support of PrEP called Mapping Pathways and also launched a website of videos and written PrEP testimonials My PrEP Experience.

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In Search of My Whole Self
July 12, 2012

I remember the day I learned that I had HIV, the first thing I thought about was the guy I was dating. I knew he wasn't infected with HIV because we had used condom's 100% of the time. But Lawdddd ever present in my mind was the question of my worth. Would he still want me?

Let me be honest, I've said it over and again, my self-esteem was very low at 23 and my worth was between my legs. As a girl I was taught that sex was love. The men in my family started touching me when I was 6 years old.

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EndGame: Part One Game ...
July 11, 2012

Last night I watched and live Tweeted the Frontline Special EndGame, the PBS documentary on HIV/AIDS in the Black Community, and it left me with an overwhelming sadness. If Black America was a developing country in and of itself, we would be 16 in AIDS. Do you get this?!? If you take ALL the Black Folks in AMERICA and made us a country we would be 16th in HIV/AIDS in the WORLD. I have known this bit of fact for a while; Phill Wilson, the founder of the Black AIDS Institute, has been shouting it from the top of his lungs, but it continues to go on deaf ears. Hearing it again only served to remind me how BAD it really is.

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What I Think About HIV Home Testing
July 3, 2012

Today the FDA approved OraQuick's first rapid at-home HIV Antibody Test. I have to be honest, I have mixed feelings about it. On one level I get it, there are about 240,000 people in the United States who do not know their HIV status and with this in mind, there is a need to have as many vehicles possible for people to get HIV tested.

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Rae Lewis-Thornton Speaks

Rae Lewis-Thornton

Rae Lewis-Thornton

Rae Lewis-Thornton is an Emmy Award-winning AIDS activist who rose to national acclaim when she told her story of living with AIDS in a cover story for Essence Magazine. She has lived with HIV for 27 years and AIDS for 19. Rae travels the country speaking and challenging stereotypes and myths about HIV/AIDS. She has a Master of Divinity degree and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Church History. Rae has been featured on Nightline, Dateline NBC, BET and The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as in countless magazines and newspapers, including Emerge, Glamour, O, the Oprah Winfrey Magazine, Jet, Ebony, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune, to name a few. She earned the coveted Emmy Award for a first-person series on living With AIDS for Chicago's CBS News.

Rae is an active user of social media -- read "Long-Term HIV Survivor Discovers the Power of Twitter," an article on about Rae's social media activities.

Follow Rae on Twitter

Friend Rae on Facebook

Visit Rae's Web site, Diva Living With AIDS

Learn about RLT Collection, Rae's line of AIDS awareness/fashion bracelets

Watch Rae on YouTube

Speaking engagements: Inquire about booking Rae to speak at your organization or event!

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The opinions expressed by's bloggers are entirely their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of itself.