I attended the virtual USCHA conference this year put on by NMAC, supported by too many sponsors to name and I want to start by saying this: I love us. "Us" as in the HIV community. The advocates. The Healthcare providers. The researchers, scientists, community partners and pharmaceutical companies. All of our allies and partners. Definitely those of us living with HIV. I hold a special place in my heart and head for those who are not only living with HIV, but who do the work as well. I know before I stepped out, open and loud, it meant a tremendous amount to me to see the people who were doing the work. Even though I knew I wanted to - I didn't think I could. It meant something to know that someone was fighting for me and trying to make things better for people like me. The conference was a big example of that - a reminder that we are never as alone as we feel, despite shame and stigma and it made me feel good to be a part of it.
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