05/27/2014 11:50 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Rae Lewis-Thornton Discusses Living With HIV With HuffPost Live

The 1980s was a terrifying time for the queer community. With so little known about HIV/AIDS and an inability to treat it, public panic and social stigma were an everyday reality for those affected.

Rae Lewis-Thornton joined HuffPost Live today to discuss her own journey living with HIV, and her experiences surrounding her contraction of the disease in the early '80s. Lewis-Thornton was terrified to make her status public at the time, and she told HuffPost Live that living with the diagnosis secretly ended up causing her more strife than the disease itself.

"I didn't want to feel that kind of discrimination," she told HuffPost Live in the above clip. "The secret was so profound for me that I really didn't even read articles on HIV, watch TV specials on HIV because I didn't want anyone to associate me with HIV in any kind of way... In retrospect the secret was killing me more than the disease. I was living this double life."

Check out the clip above or head here to watch the segment in full.