Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Activist Leads Frank Discussion About Living With AIDS

Emmy Award-winning AIDS activist Rae Lewis-Thornton was the featured speaker during a day-long conference on HIV/AIDS held on Oct. 2, on UVI’s St. Thomas campus. Lewis-Thornton, who has been living with HIV for 26 years, spoke frankly about her experiences and transmission of the disease. She told the group of UVI and high school students that while she wants to make a difference, she cannot save their lives and the decision to protect themselves is ultimately up to them. “You have got to take this information and use it,” she said, following her presentation.

Lewis-Thornton was one of the first African American women to share her story with a major publication when she was featured on the cover of Essence magazine in 1994.

The conference was sponsored by the Office of the Associate Campus Executive Administrator for Student Affairs.