Our Community - Our Sisterhood at USCHA 2022

Submitted on Nov 29, 2022 by  Marig2016


Marissa Gonzalez.

The flood gates have opened and I've FINALLY had the opportunity to attend USCHA, something I've longed for since shortly after my diagnosis in 2016.

Before I continue, let me say, I'm so sorry this is long overdue, but the past eight weeks of life after Hurricane Ian have been something else, in addition to advocacy and well… life period. Now that I've said that, back to our regularly scheduled program… USCHA 2022.

I've been to several work-related conferences so the cold rooms, the long sitting or long walks were no stranger to me, but my oh my, the plenaries were so captivating, the conversation Raw, Uncut and Real! And yes, I loved every second of it.

USCHA 2022 took place on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, the island my ancestors call home! This was only my second trip in my life to Puerto Rico and I feel even more in love! The people are as beautiful as the island and what a way to honor and support that beauty than by hosting the largest HIV/AIDS conference to support and love our community of thrivers and fighters.


Collage of images from USCHA 2022.

I've been a part of The Well Project family since the end of 2019 and then COVID happened, so I've never actually had the blessing to meet all the amazing women who make up the leadership team as well as the Community Advisory Board, the women who singlehandedly got me through the toughest time of my life before ever having met one another. So you see, this USCHA was special for many reasons.


Marissa Gonzalez in front of USCHA sign.

I sat in rooms where all were excited to hear about HIV & Sexual Relations, HIV & Breastfeeding, HIV & {FILL IN THE BLANK} because if it involves HIV, it was likely talked about. The topics that are sometimes so hard to have in our own communities or even our own living rooms were had … DEEP SIGH, and what a relief and breathtaking experience. To speak freely, to act and move about without fear of… all those thoughts that constantly run through your mind. You didn't worry about judgement, or stigma; you didn't worry about someone seeing you take your meds and wondering what their thoughts may be, and to me that's ultimately what USCHA is. To live in yourself authentically with no worry or fear of your HIV status being known.

My hope is that we can live in a world where we can roam about freely with no fear, and the more cities USCHA visits, we are that much closer, or so I hope us to be.

I hope to see you at the next one ❣️

Submitted by boseolotu

It's was an amazing experience and moments shared with beautiful soul sisters.
Moments to cherish for life and it was an honor and privilege to finally meet you in person.
With you there is no doll moments at all!
Thank you for always allowing me to eat from your plate.
And thank you for taking care of me while in Puerto Rico.

Submitted by Marig2016

Oh Bose my beautiful sister! Thinking of our time spent in PR truly makes me emotional! You are such a beautiful person! Your heart is truly so sweet and giiiiirl you are FUNNY!  so many amazing memories I will cherish forever!! So many memories but my favorite will always be the night we ventured outside of the hotel with our uber driver!!! Great company, great food and drinks, oh and the tango bachata dance!! lol I love you my sister! 

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Members of The Well Project community at USCHA 2022.

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