Final preparations are happening at the office today for our bi-annual WORLD Retreat. The retreat starts next Monday through Wednesday. This flagship event is designed to support HIV positive women in a safe, fun weekend filled with many activities.
This year’s event is at full capacity with 32 participants, and has returned to a retreat center in Healdsburg, the site of WORLD past retreats. The facility offers a wide array of outdoor and indoor amenities and activities, such as basketball courts, swimming pool, art center, chapel, and plenty of outdoor space for hiking.
This year’s theme is Mind, Body, Soul, and Sexual Wellness. Anna Jackson, the retreat organizer, has worked diligently in her planning to hold the space for WORLD clients to take the rare opportunity to be themselves. According to Anna, the retreat offers participants freedom from the responsibilities of caring for others. She says, “This is where the strong people go where they don’t have to worry about being strong.” For some it is the first time they can go somewhere without hiding their medications or having to explain why they don’t feel well.
The WORLD Retreat experience is available to both new attendees and alumnae. First timers get a table massage; there are workshops to cover all areas of the HIV positive experience. Otherwise challenging topics such as the impact of drug use on medication, discussions about sexuality, disclosure, spiritual support, and more are shared with ease and assurance.
A retreat favorite is the talent show, now known as “WORLD Idol”, where participants are known to perform karaoke, poetry, gymnastics, songs, and dance routines. Self expression without judgment is encouraged, allowing laughter and tears to flow.
We encourage you to share this important event with women who are HIV positive. Our next retreat will be held fall 2010. Contact Anna Jackson, WORLD Retreat Coordinator for details.