I am here, but not here. I feel like I am physically here but, on the outer, I feel strange - like someone who lost track of time. The reason I feel this way is because things have been off-balance for months and not just with myself, but with the whole world.

The COVID pandemic has changed a lot of things

We are at a standstill and wondering if things will ever get back to normal, the way they use to be. The times when we could visit friends and loved ones. The times when a hug would make things better. Now a hug feels so far away.

We never really knew how much the movement of the world played a big part in our lives. We breathe in it, walk in it, and drive in it. It is like the movement of a song, and the beat of the rhythm just stopped. And now, we are all dancing alone, waiting for the music to come back.

COVID and HIV transmission

People are dying and families are lost during another pandemic, but it is one that - with the slightest touch - a person can lose their life from one cough, one handshake, as we look side to side seeing who is next to us in fear.

Brining thoughts to my head about living with HIV and telling myself that I lived over two decades with this virus and I cannot allow someone that is careless to transmit coronavirus to me since it is so easily contracted.

HIV stigma is still strong 30 years later

It’s funny how human beings work mentally, as far as their thought process. HIV is transmitted by sexual intercourse, blood, vaginal secretions, breast milk, IV drug use, and semen. But today, after over 30 years, everyone still seems so frightened about HIV. They move away quickly when they know. They call us names, think we are promiscuous, and some say we deserve it.

How can they be so scared of the HIV I live with?

This other pandemic no one seems to be so much afraid of when all it takes is a touch and for the slight wind to travel a sneeze right to you; now you live with this other strange pandemic. How can they be so scared of me and the HIV I have lived with? It doesn’t live on the outside of my skin. It’s not in my hair or the hand that gestures "hello." It is deep within and it can’t get out.

COVID is easier to transmit

I can’t transmit HIV to anyone because my adherence to my medication keeps me undetectable (virally suppressed). This means I am no harm to anyone at all. I am U=U. Shouldn’t others be much more fearful of the new pandemic that has come about and taking lives just by being next to someone?

COVID is scary. And I say to you, please be careful and safe: wash your hands, use hand sanitizer or disinfected wipes or alcohol anytime you touch anything. And please, wear your mask. HIV is not what others should be afraid of.

Love and hugs to you all

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