Advertisement
The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
HIV/AIDS Blog Central

My Fabulous Disease

On Board the 2012 HIV Cruise Retreat


A Video Blog

By Mark S. King

November 7, 2012

Richard is handsome and adorably shy. His sister began emailing me a few months ago, wondering if her brother might enjoy the HIV Cruise Retreat, because he isn't able to disclose his status comfortably in his fairly small town.

On the last night of the cruise I gave him an award for "Sweetest Backstory," explaining to the crowd that his cruise ticket was a Christmas gift from his sister, who clearly loves him very much. He accepted the award -- just a silly way to acknowledge various people on the ship really -- with tears streaming down his face, while dozens upon dozens of new friends applauded heartily.

It is that fellowship, that embrace of our lives and all that we are, that best describes the week-long event on the high seas.


Episode 43: On Board the 2012 HIV Cruise Retreat

For seven days, I lived in a state of enhanced gratitude. For my life, my health, and for the people who organize the retreat.

Sailing from Ft. Lauderdale to various islands of the Caribbean, the Cruise Retreat included more than 200 gay men, women and our supporters. We feasted on non-stop food and the loving embrace of friends old and new.

Along the way, there were games, shore excursions and even budding romances. The protective walls that often surround those of us living with HIV came crumbling down, replaced with new relationships, email addresses and phone numbers. By the time we docked back in Ft. Lauderdale, hugs were long and new confidants had been established.

I don't expect that everyone has the ability to afford the trip, but the message of the event -- reach out for support and friendships where ever you might find them – echoes in my mind and heart today.

Thanks for watching, and please be well.

Mark

Visit Mark's live blog at www.MyFabulousDisease.com.

Send Mark an email.

Get email notifications every time this blog is updated.

See Also
More on Traveling When You're HIV Positive

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Ron (Delafield, WI) Wed., Dec. 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm EST
Mark, thanks for posting this. Great to see a wonderful, warm time being had by all, especially from here in freezing Wisconsin! Hope I can make next year's cruise. We'll see!
Reply to this comment


Comment by: POZ4LIFE (Miami, FL) Sun., Nov. 25, 2012 at 7:33 am EST
Is there a straight cruise? I also heard that not everyone on the boat has HIV/AIDS and when they found our group was on board, they kinda got creeped out. I heard that from 2 different people. THAT doesn't sound too supportive.
Reply to this comment


Comment by: terrence spanke (detroit,michigan) Thu., Nov. 15, 2012 at 11:23 pm EST
Is there another cruise on the horizon?
Reply to this comment


Comment by: julie jacobs (USA) Wed., Nov. 14, 2012 at 6:03 am EST
This post is quite touchy. I almost cry as I can always relate. I totally agree with you. Certainly, you can find strength from people you know and get acquainted with during your lifetime journey. While there is life, there is always hope!!! Kudos guys. Great job!
Reply to this comment


Comment by: Dan (WI) Fri., Nov. 9, 2012 at 12:53 pm EST
Maybe next year...
Reply to this comment


Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read TheBody.com's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:


Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:
VIDEO BLOG:
My Fabulous Disease


Mark S. King has been an active AIDS activist, writer and community organization leader since the early 1980s in Los Angeles. He has been an outspoken advocate for prevention education and for issues important to those living with HIV.

Diagnosed in 1985, Mark has held positions with the Los Angeles Shanti Foundation, AID Atlanta and AIDS Survival Project, and is an award-winning writer. He continues his volunteer work as an AIDS educator and speaker for conferences and events.

Speaking engagements: Mark King is available to speak to groups. Contact Mark about speaking at your organization or event!


More About Mark:
Profile


Subscribe to Mark's Blog:

Subscribe by RSSBy RSS ?

Subscribe by Email


Recent Posts:

View All Posts


A Place Like This by Mark King

View an excerpt of Mark's book

To read PDF, click here


Interviews With Mark:

Mark King Looks Back at the AIDS Epidemic's Darkest Hour in the U.S. (May 14, 2008)

This Month in HIV: Crystal Methamphetamine and HIV (August 2007)


Articles by Mark:

Meth Burial (May 2008)

Outliving My Father (May 22, 2001)
Mark recounts how years of caring for friends dying of AIDS prepared him for taking care of his dying father
From The Advocate

AIDS Always Benefits from What We Don't Talk About (April 2001)


For the rest of Mark's articles, click here.


A Brief Disclaimer:

The opinions expressed by TheBody.com's bloggers are entirely their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of TheBody.com itself.

Advertisement