These past months, since COVID-19 altered everything, I’ve worked hard to focus on the positive. My son is screaming in the background as I write this, but he’s with me and safe. The economy is cratering, but my family members still has a roof over their heads and food to eat. The novel coronavirus has hurt and killed so many, but I’m buoyed by the innumerable stories of strength, courage, and empathy. Staying optimistic is not easy, but necessary.
Thankfully, the latest issue of Plus you hold in your hands or read on your laptop (see below) or phone is providing me with unforced joy. It is our magazine’s first-ever bilingual issue, where every article is presented in both English and Spanish. I’m so proud of the efforts of our editors, writers, and designers who created this issue remotely, while the world order was suddenly so different and frightening.
With a focus on our beloved Latinx community and newly diagnosed poz folks, we report on the latest information on COVID-19 and how it’s affecting people living with HIV and the organizations working for them.
Please don’t miss our interviews with Latinx role models like Jesús Guillén, Dolores Solis, Maria Mejia, Nicolas Rios, Karlo Manzo-Arroyo, and our cover star, Hamilton’s Javier Muñoz (p. 30), all individuals boldly challenging HIV stigma. Read up on the latest reports on how the coronavirus is affecting Latinx immigrants and refugees (p. 20) and how the disease physically impacts all poz folks (p. 40). At a time when so much is expected of us — working, finding a new job, taking care of family members, staying sane during a quarantine — Tyler Curry’s Daily Dose column on self-love hits just the right note (p. 42).
Aside from making sure our immediate needs are met, being good to ourselves and others right now should be our paramount concern. With the bilingual issue, the staff at Plus hope we made our Spanish-speaking readers feel more included and part of the HIV conversation. We’re not attending to hungry customers at a grocery store or donning protective gear for a shift at an emergency room, but hopefully we passed on information you find informative and uplifting. Read it in good health.
Neal Broverman is the editor in chief of Plus. Follow him on Twitter @nbroverman.