an exit door with holiday decor in the foreground. tips for attending in-person safely hiv

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 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

Steven Campa: This year, the way I am preparing for large events is by making sure that I am vaccinated and boosted. The world is opening up again, and I want to make sure I am healthy and safe.

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.

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.

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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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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