Lifestyle Health 'Hamilton' Star Javier Muñoz on Being Immunocompromised in the Pandemic: 'I Was Literally in Terror' "There was no chance to be taken," Javier Muñoz, who is HIV positive and a cancer survivor, tells PEOPLE By Carly Breit and Dan Heching Dan Heching Digital News Writer, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on October 14, 2021 01:28 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Javier Muñoz, who has starred in Broadway's In the Heights and Hamilton, is opening up about what it felt like to live through the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as an immunocompromised person. At the American Express and (RED) Call a Code (RED) on COVID-19 campaign kickoff event on Wednesday, which was marked by a special performance of Hamilton at Broadway's Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City, Muñoz tells PEOPLE about the fear he felt when the world went into lockdown in March 2020. "This isn't just lip service. I feel so grateful to be alive, so grateful to be here. So grateful that the people I love are still here and able to do what we do," he says, adding that being back at the theater where he played Alexander Hamilton feels "like coming home." Broadway Is Back! Scenes from the Re-opening of Wicked, Hamilton, Chicago and More Muñoz, who has referred to himself on Instagram as a "doubly immunocompromised" person, explains that the beginning of the pandemic was personally very challenging. "I did not leave my apartment for three months. And that's not an exaggeration," he says of when lockdown began — and Broadway went dark — early last year. "I never left the apartment, I was literally in terror about any possible exposure because I'm immunocompromised. I'm HIV positive. And a cancer survivor," he adds. "This is not... there was no chance to be taken." RELATED VIDEO: All the Must See Moments From the In the Heights Premiere The actor and singer says the first time he did leave his home, he was overcome with emotion. "I remember the first, literally the first day that I dared to leave the apartment, go across the street to the park and sit on a rock," he recalls. "I just I bawled my eyes out, just because of how good the sunshine felt. So that's really how it felt at the start." "It's not an exaggeration, anyone who is immunocompromised, living through this pandemic, had to be the most careful in every single way," he adds. The Cast of Hamilton: Where Are They Now? "It really is about being so careful. And it's why it's so important to care about masking [and] taking care of yourself, because you don't know who's around you. And what they are living with. Not every illness is seen." Muñoz, along with Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and other stars, attended the Call a Code (RED) on COVID-19 campaign kickoff, celebrating the partnership between American Express and (RED) in supporting equitable access to COVID testing, treatment and vaccines in the world's poorest countries. (RED), founded in 2006, has historically been an organization focused on the fight against AIDS, but in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has shifted to deliver private sector money to support the fight against both AIDS and COVID-19. As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.