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Living Well

Treatment by Retreat

August 1999

In June, I had the opportunity to attend the eighth annual Episcopal HIV/AIDS Healing Retreat at Kanuga Retreat Center in Hendersonville, N.C. There gathered were some 250 people living with HIV disease -- either infected or affected. I was struck at how the faces there were representative of the pandemic. There was a large number of African-Americans and women as well as gay white men.

Kanuga is a beautiful spot with cottages, a lodge and a great lake to walk around. I didn't realize how much this city boy needed to get back to nature. The absence of sirens, smog and snarling traffic was a welcome respite. I relaxed in a way that I hadn't in some time. I also had the opportunity to share this with my mother who began working with HIV positive folks at Common Ground some twelve years ago. For her, this was the first time she had been able to get away after moving into a personal care home some two years ago.

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