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Mindfulness Lessons from My HIV Support Group

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I used to hang out with ex-convicts, recovering addicts, former prostitutes, homeless men and women, and the occasional drag queen.

Several of us, including me, had mental and behavioral health diagnoses. All of us were living with HIV. I led a Thursday support group for HIV positive men at a center in Greensboro, North Carolina called Higher Ground, a community safe space for men and women living with HIV and mental illness.

I would walk in the front door to the cheer of “Kevin!” and be served some of the best fried fish I’ve ever tasted, homemade potato salad, collard greens, and as the sign above the percolator read, “Coffee as strong as love and black as Hell.” Jerry sang “His Eye is On the Sparrow” with a bass that shook the furniture,

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