Retreats for the Soul

BY Winston Gieseke

August 16 2011 11:00 PM ET

While a person's hiv status is only a part of who they are, those in need of a getaway from everyday life might want to consider a regenerating vacation designed specifically for HIVers'an escape in which disclosure is never an issue.

Regardless of whether you enjoy the serene beauty of the great outdoors or the pampered luxury of a cruise ship, there are plenty of exciting vacation options in which people are all in the same boat, sometimes literally. And it's never too early to start planning a vacation.

Boys in the Woods: For those who enjoy roughing it, the HIV Campground Project is a nonprofit AIDS education, prevention, awareness, and social group, and its website offers information and links to several outdoor weekend getaways'most aimed at gay men'throughout the United States. HIV-Campground-Project.org; $10 and up

Rocky Mountain Highs: Mountain lovers might enjoy the affordable sights provided by the Retreat at Shadowcliff in Grand Lake, Colo. The three-day weekend romps, which happen in July and August at a lodge nestled 8,600 feet high on cliffs adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park, offer plenty of time for nature walks. They also have a full program of interactive workshops and educational seminars, plus a variety of body therapies, providing an empowering and relaxing experience. OnTheTen.org; $80 and up

Women Only: Each spring and fall, Women Organized to Respond to Life Threatening Diseases holds a three-day retreat for HIV-positive women in Northern California that provide guests with a holistic experience that includes treatment education workshops, stress management, art activities, support groups, safer-sex information, and discussions on various topics, including disclosure and stigma. All retreats are held within two hours of Oakland, and first-time attendees pay only $40. 
WomenHIV.org; $40 and up

Luxury Seekers: Vacationers who've been socking away funds in order to travel in high style should check out the Hetero Poz Cruise Retreat. The seven-day November journey from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to tropical ports throughout the Caribbean is a bit costlier than other getaways, but it promises a week to remember. Plus, a portion of the proceeds from each cruise goes to various HIV organizations and charities. A spring cruise is planned as well, leaving from Long Beach, Calif. PositiveCruise.com; $659 and up

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