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Introducing the 20 Collection for RLT Collection

February 7, 2014

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

Essence magazine cover

2014 marks the 20th anniversary of my cover story in Essence magazine! I'm very proud of being a part of history. Together Essence and I gave black women a new face of what a person with AIDS looked like.

When I look back, all I can do is think about the boldness that it took for me to tell my story in a national publication. Putting your life center stage for the world to scrutinize is a brave thing, to say the least. I'm still amazed at the impact that the Essence article had on African-American women. Twenty years later women reach out to me on social media to tell me how that article changed their life. Women even bring me the article in mint condition for an autograph as I travel.

Today in honor of and in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Essence article, I'm launching the 20 Collection. I am designing 20 AIDS Awareness bracelets and 20 AIDS Awareness necklaces for RLT Collection. The first of the bracelet designs are launched today in honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

Over the course of the next 10 months, I will add to the collection, thru World AIDS Day, Dec 1, 2014, which will mark the 20th anniversary of when that magazine actually hit the news stands. These designs are very limited in quaintly and once a design is gone there are no more. Today I'm launching 8 bracelet designs primarily designed with red coral gemstones and a beautiful red faceted Czech glass.

Red Coral and Rhinestone and Sterling Awareness Charm!

Red Coral and Rhinestone and Sterling Awareness Charm! SHOP HERE

Red Coral and Sterling Awareness Charm!

Red Coral and Sterling Awareness Charm! SHOP HERE!

Red Coral and Sterling Awareness Charm!

Red Coral and Sterling Awareness Charm! SHOP HERE

Red Coral and Sterling Awareness Charm!

Red Coral and Sterling Awareness Charm! SHOP HERE!

The 23 Bracelet!

The 23 Bracelet! SHOP HERE!

AIDS Awareness Charm!

AIDS Awareness Charm! SHOP HERE!

Disc Glam! As Seen on Sheryl Lee Ralph!

Disc Glam! As Seen on Sheryl Lee Ralph! SHOP HERE!

Sheryl Lee Ralph wearing Disc Glam!

Sheryl Lee Ralph wearing Disc Glam!

Vintage Glam!

Vintage Glam! SHOP HERE!

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

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