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HIV/AIDS Blog Central

Counting Down to 50!

By Rae Lewis-Thornton

April 3, 2012

This piece originally appeared in Rae's blog, Diva Living With AIDS.

Today Marks 50 days until I turn 50 years old! I NEVER thought that I would have made it! Like #ForReal #ForReal! I've been living with HIV for 29 years. Just think about it, HIV is only 31 years old. That means that I've lived almost the entire AIDS pandemic with this disease and over half of my life!

I've lived with "full blown" AIDS for 20 years. That's a term we don't use anymore, but it's a real term. At one point my T-Cell count was 8 and I had 3 bouts of PCP. I saw death staring me in the face. I was a size 0 and there was no hope for my survival. The life expectancy for someone with AIDS back then was 3 years. I remember when I did the Oprah Show on AIDS Long Term Survivors, I had been living with AIDS then for 7 years. Look at God!

The way I see my life is simple, at least to me. God kept me here long enough to benefit from the advance treatment for HIV/AIDS. I had a doctor that knew what the heck she was doing and I did EVERYTHING I was supposed to do, no matter how sick the medications made me, no matter how tired I got. I just kept on living, taking it all one day at a time. Now here I am! In 50 days, I'm turning 50!

I'm grateful and humbled that God turned my mess into a ministry. I've been doing this work for a long time and I've touched a lot of lives. Thanks Be To God. In many ways I think my survival is connected to my ministry. God has blessed me out of my obedience. The Bible says, obedience is better than sacrifice.

As I count down these next 50 days, I ask that you count down with me. I will be blogging everyday for the next 50 days. Not sure about what, well like usual, however God leads me. I hope to give more reflection and insight into my life.

I also ask that you support me. I've never been one to beg. LOL I've never had a fundraiser. I don't get grants or have some big pharmaceutical Company sponsoring me. I've been a one woman show on this hump.

So I'm asking that you sow a seed into my ministry and life. The Bible also says, we have not because we ask not. So I'm asking. Support me no matter how big or small.

My bracelets are one way you can support me and they are FAB! I would be honored if you sported my bracelets! My website is

Another way you can support me is to make a donation. There is a donate button on this blog. Even if it's $5.00, it's a seed that can grow.

Other ways you can support me, is to share my blog with others. The more traffic I get, the better position I will be in to get sponsors. Lastly, keep me in your prayers.

I seem to keep it all together, but this life is hard. AIDS is not cute or easy, but Thanks be to God, that I understand my life is worth living, so I keep it moving, as best as I can.

I thank everyone, who come to my blog, buy my bracelets, follow me on Twitter and Facebook, share my work through social media and yes, for all of your prayers and encouragement, through a Facebook post, a tweet and your private emails; They help to keep me going, especially on those dark days

We are counting Down!!!

Post Script: I've been asked where cards can be sent... my mailing address is Rae Lewis-Thornton, 47 W. Division, #412, Chicago, IL 60610

Send Rae an email.

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See Also
More on Life Expectancy and HIV/AIDS

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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.

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

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