Annual HIV+ Men's Retreat

Annual HIV+ Men's Retreat

Join HIV-positive men from across New Zealand in a safe and supportive environment, to learn, discuss and share information, make new friends and build a support network, and to take time out - to rest, relax and to revitalise, while in a beautiful peaceful beachfront setting.

What is the HIV+ Men's Retreat?

Every year Body Positive holds a weekend retreat exclusively for HIV-positive men in New Zealand. It's held at Vaughan Park Anglican Retreat Centre in Long Bay, overlooking the beach in north Auckland.

The aim of the retreat is provide the opportunity to meet with other HIV-positive men, provide opportunities to develop a support network, to create a safe and supportive environment for HIV positive men to discuss and share information, and to take time out - to facilitate rest, recreation and to revitalise.

The retreat attracts between 35-50 guys from all over New Zealand each year, generally with a wide and varied age range and lived HIV experience, from those who have recently been diagnosed to those who have been living with HIV for decades.

What happens at the retreat?

At each retreat we have a range of different workshops & discussion groups on various topics, from those directly related to HIV, such as medications, disclosure, stigma, etc, to more general topics such as mental health, wellbeing, financial/WINZ assistance, etc.

In addition, we also have fun activities/games (either at the venue or offsite), massage and other therapy treatments, and evening entertainment.

All of which is completely optional, allowing you to participate in as much or as little as you prefer. There is also be plenty of time to be on your own, or with others, to relax, go swimming, walking or any other activity you may want to pursue.

The venue is fully catered, so all your meals are provided, as well as transport to and from the venue from the city when needed.

Please be aware that the Men's Retreat is ALCOHOL/DRUG FREE. Any participant found consuming alcohol/drugs during the retreat weekend will be asked to leave.

When does it start and finish?

We kick things off on Friday afternoon at 6pm with a welcome and icebreaker before serving dinner. However you can arrive at the venue and check-in to your room from mid-afternoon onwards.

We have a shuttle bus which takes people from the Body Positive office in the city to the retreat venue from 1pm onwards on Friday, with the last shuttle departing Body Positive at 4pm sharp.

On Sunday we finish at around 3pm, and then have shuttles taking people back to Body Positive as well as a shuttle taking people directly to the airport for their flight home. (If you are booking your own flights, please book the return leg after 5:30pm to allow enough time to get to the airport)

What are the accomodation options?

Vaughan Park Retreat Centre is very well equiped with five seperate accomodation blocks, each containing between 4-7 bedrooms along with shared bathroom/shower facilities for each block. Rooms are either single or twin, and come with all linen and towels provided.

Because a third of the rooms have twin beds, we do need some people to share so that we can accomodate as many people as possible. Because of this, as part of the registration process, we ask if people know another person attending that they would be willing to share a room with, to let us know. We also randomly allocate people to shared rooms when needed, but we try and match people up as best we can. Also those allocated to a twin room one year will be guaranteed a single room the following year to keep things as fair as possible. Those attending for the first time will always be given a single room unless they have requested otherwise.

In addition to the bedrooms, we also have a large room in the main block which is configured for "Marae Style" sleeping - i.e. sleeping on mattresses on the floor in a communal room. For this option, mattresses are provided, but you need to bring your own bedding, pillows and towels. The number of people choosing this option varies from year to year, with 5-10 some years, and other years just 1 or 2.

How much does it cost to attend?

In order to keep the retreat as accessible as possible to a wide range of people, we keep the registration fee to a minimum.

Registration Fees:
  • $100.00 for a waged person
  • $60.00 for a person with Community Services card and/or on a WINZ benefit
  • $40.00 for Marae style sleeping
  • $30.00 for Day Stay Visitors
Important: Beds are only allocated upon receipt of the FULL registration fee payment, and are allocated on a first come basis.

Travel assistance for those outside Auckland:

For those living outside Auckland who are on a limited income and have a current community services card, the Wellness Fund can provide up to $300 towards the cost of your travel so that you can attend the retreat. Please discuss this with us and we can make the arrangements for you.

If you do not meet the criteria for accessing the Wellness Fund, and cost is still a barrier, please get in touch with us and we can see if there is any other assistance we might be able to offer depending on your circumstances.
Save The Date!

2025 HIV+ Men's Retreat

The next HIV+ Men’s Retreat will take place on
Friday 7th to Sunday 9th March 2025
Further details and registration will be available later in the year, but in the meantime if you have any questions please feel free to contact us.
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