7 Tips for Attending In-Person Events Safely
The combination of winter months, holidays, and an ongoing pandemic can create challenges for those living with HIV who are susceptible to illnesses that threaten their immune system.
Patient leaders at H-I-V.net share the strategies they will use when attending large in-person events this year.
1. Be aware of transmittable illnesses
Shaina: I think many of us had to tackle this throughout the pandemic. My health and my loved ones' health are top priorities for me. During this time of year, we will see increases in covid and flu cases.
Before attending a large gathering, I'd ensure I'm in a healthy state to reduce the risk of transmitting either. It's great to be able to fellowship with one another. However, it's not fun to deal with any type of illness afterward.
2. Consider medications and vaccines you need
Heather Renee: I also make sure that I have any of my "as needed" medications with me in case I get a migraine or something along those lines.
Do you receive any of your HIV medications through the mail?
3. Ask the host questions
Khafre: I prepare by gaining an understanding of exactly what it is I am getting into. Ask the questions like, "How many folx do you expect? Will it be at their place or an event space?"
I would also like to know if they require folx to mask up.
4. Get plenty of rest ahead of time
Heather Renee: I make sure that I get plenty of rest prior to any holiday events, especially New Year's Eve. Changes to my routine can hugely affect my health, specifically staying up late.
5. Involve a plus-one in the planning
Robert W.: My wife and I always have a game plan made ahead of time with whatever holiday is coming up.
We go over our finances first to see what we have, what we can spend, and what we'll have afterward. By doing that, we'll know what we have for the trip, if we're traveling, gifts, or whatever events that will be going on during the time... She keeps the boundaries and balance in our family and our relationship.
How often do you find time to take care of yourself?
6. Make an exit plan
Heather Renee: Once at the event, we make sure to park so that we will not get boxed in by other vehicles arriving later. This provides a way for me to leave whenever I need to leave without bothering other people.
7. Prepare yourself mentally
Jah: When I prepare to attend a large event, I make sure that my mind, body, soul, and spirit are all aligned.
First, I start with what outfit I want to slay the event in. I consider how far the distance is from my house and whether I can afford the Uber to and from because I do not like taking public transportation. I also make sure that the event is going to be a safe space for me to attend. Once everything is checked off my list, I'm all set to go.
What's on your list?
Living with a condition that may compromise your immune system means you have to be forward-thinking about any potential risks a large in-person event could pose, but that doesn't need to spoil your fun!
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