D Gregory Smith

Positive and Partners Retreat: Montana in the Forefront?

Filed By D Gregory Smith | May 20, 2010 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Living
Tags: HIV/AIDS, innovation, Montana, Retreats, sero-discordant couples

This weekend, Ken and I will be attending our third Rising Hope Retreat huge.22.113957-thumb-450x450-11539-thumb-450x450-11540.jpgfor HIV+ persons and their "partners" (widely interpreted as caregivers, sibling, parent, husband, wife, son, daughter, etc). To my knowledge, no other state does such a thing, and that's too bad. It's an incredible experience of witnessing relationships, gay and straight, and sharing the struggle to create and maintain relationships with other human beings in the face of HIV.

Ken and I are a sero-discordant couple; I'm positive and he's not. Many of the HIV-related functions/causes we attend don't recognize or even ask the question. In fact, Ken has said, "I think people just assume I'm positive. That's okay."

Except that it's not.

Recognition that HIV doesn't have to be spread in a relationship is important. In fact, it's probably one of the best sources of inspiration for others to have sex safely and responsibly; to create and maintain relationships that are life-giving and fulfilling despite serious issues, possible consequences and obstacles - not to mention HIV. It can be done. It is being done.

And Montana's in the forefront of recognizing that. Who knew?

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I love it how you bring Montana to the queer masses like I do Indiana. Represent, Gregory! Represent!

Doin' what I can, Bil... just like you!

I love how you all use an expansive definition of the word "partner."

Yeah, we're pretty inclusive up here- support is support after all. :)
I actually meant to add the word "friend", too...

This is so important, thank you. There is so much misinformation out there about HIV and what it means for living your life.

We have similar conferences, camp-outs, and retreats here in Maine also!!! I recently left a 14 year relationship, me being positive and her being negative...yes, it's ok to fall in love with someone despite any disease...I love that you wrote this and continued the education, as Dr. Weiss says, there is so much misinformation out there and I believe that everyone needs to keep abreast of the most current information, and keep on spreading the word...we ALL need, want, and deserve love. Again, thanks for a well written article that can possibly spark more and more much needed dialogue!