Kimberly Vrudny

Participant 17

In 30/30 Participants, South Africa, Yabonga on August 12, 2010 at 4:15 am

“Participant 17” writes about how the Institute for the Healing of Memories conducts retreats to help caregivers cope with the trauma of HIV/AIDS.

I live in a community [where] people are confronted by the reality of HIV&AIDS on a daily basis. People choose to respond to the pandemic in many different ways. [The Institute for the] Healing of Memories and HIV/AIDS is about creating a safe space for those infected and affected by [this disease]. Many people infected and affected by HIV&AIDS continue to experience rejection and isolation. This [leaves] people with a lot of feelings, [like] pain and disappointment. [The Institute for the] Healing of Memories create[s] an opportunity for people to deal with the negative feeling[s] they have because of how we respond to those living with the [disease]. People are struggling with feeling[s] of anger because of a partner who infected them with the [disease], because of being isolated by family and friends. [Facilitators at the Institute for the] Healing of Memories listen to the pain of those who have been affected and infected to help people journey with strength and believe that they are not alone.

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