Print this page    •   Back to Web version of article

HIV & Me: A Guide to Living With HIV for Hispanics - Ahmad Salcido

November 25, 2008

HIV & Me: A Guide to Living With HIV for Hispanics
Up Close & Personal: Ahmad Salcido

"When I tested HIV positive, I felt lonely and deserted," Ahmad Salcido recalls. "There was a pain that wouldn't go away." He knew he wouldn't be able to cope with his diagnosis alone, but he also knew that he couldn't turn to his family: He's never been very close with his Mexican mother or his Arabian father—in fact, they still have no idea that he's gay, and he feels it has to stay that way, at least for now. "My Mexican culture does not approve of HIV, or of being homosexual," Ahmad says. "Being Muslim and being gay? Wow!"

But Ahmad had one person he felt certain he could trust, a close friend living in San Francisco who Ahmad now calls his "little angel." Ahmad's decision to share his HIV status with that friend was a difficult one, but it made all the difference in the world: At his friend's urging, Ahmad moved to San Francisco, partook of HIV support groups and counseling, and even managed to become part of a clinical trial that provides him with free HIV treatment.

Ahmad also changed his lifestyle: He's eating smarter and making sure his health and happiness are a priority. "I have to take care of myself now more than ever now that my immune system is compromised," he says. "I'm learning how to make the right choices." With help from his therapist, he's putting together a plan for how to come out to his family without hurting them—or himself.

Looking back, Ahmad no longer feels the despair he initially felt after he was diagnosed. Living with HIV is not as bad as he feared it would be, he says. "This is a new beginning."

Previous | Next
Table of Contents

This article was provided by It is a part of the publication HIV and Me. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:

General Disclaimer: is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.