A Poz Salam
Mental Therapy and HIV: One Patient's Perspective
April 26, 2013
The mental burden of being HIV positive is of substantial weight that could equal, if not exceed, the weight of the physical damage HIV can cause to the body. Unfortunately, this significance is met by a practice that still deals with broad categories of mental illness rather than the specificity of HIV-related mental problems. Mental health care providers in the case of HIV-positive persons are, mostly, social workers who lack the experience to deal with nuances of the problems rooted in the minds of poz folks.
A Positive Ramadan
July 18, 2012
Ramadan is the name of one of the 12 lunar months of the Islamic calendar. For 29 days of Ramadan, Muslims believe that they are supposed to fast from sunrise until sunset. Many HIV-positive Muslims wish to join their community in observing this important month ... Can they?
Middle Eastern Food Is Poz Friendly
March 23, 2012
While most things in the Middle East could be unfriendly to Poz persons, one thing keeps proving the opposite: Middle Eastern cuisine. A diet that is high in good fats, protein, vegetables and good carbs; how can you go wrong with that?
World AIDS Day 2011: New Activism, New Generation
November 23, 2011
To be an activist is not about how big the effort you make; it is about how you think and what you believe. To challenge perceptions and misconceptions is either in your DNA or nowhere. Achieving the goal of World AIDS Day 2011 requires a spirit of activism, willing to challenge many predominant principles in our society. Some of these principles and values are entrenched not because of their validity but because of who benefits from them and promotes them, or who has the power to affirm them. Just as one philosopher stated: "The ruling principles are the principles of the ruling class."
Status Undetectable? Not Really!
October 27, 2011
While the virus in my blood is becoming undetectable, other things are becoming much more visible to me. My comprehension of my status as HIV positive is staging an assault on all aspects of my life and becoming excruciating. Hiding a label that tagged me is becoming a difficult task ... and no matter what success I am achieving in my life, the burden of this status is causing such bitterness that could burn away any feeling of success.
HIV and Death ... In Memory of Dr. Bob
October 14, 2011
Weeks ago, we were saddened by the death of Dr. Robert Frascino. Dr. Bob insisted on delivering a message of tolerance towards all people and not only HIV-positive persons, responding to questions that sometimes drifted away from medicine to politics. He was a firm believer that a doctor has no choice other than to eradicate any moral judgments on the human body. Dr. Bob decided to declare his status to everyone, hoping this will help fight the stigma and prove that "HIV is not a death sentence."
Poz Politics ... in the Face of Armageddon
August 13, 2011
"It started with a poster," an old nice woman once told me when I was a child explaining how in history, dictators used images and posters to demonize people they dislike, or to idealize the one and only beloved. We in the Middle East had many of these posters: a poster showing the beloved Sheik, King, or president hugging a child. Him visiting patients in the hospital. Him as a great teacher. Him taking a shower. Posters everywhere. And there were hate posters that depicted the enemies with horns.
Curing Your Spirit of HIV
June 22, 2011
It usually starts with "He was charming ..." then the drama follows. By now, I am kind of used to this soap opera. However, the story of "Toxic" was unique. Toxic is not only a young charming man who is seeking a "soul mate unconfined by the norms of queer culture" as per his profile. He will write love poems to the guys he will meet and will paint pictures of their dreams about the perfect life. Toxic will take you in a walk in the park, and will kiss you under a tree. You will fly with him to the sky of love so fast and once you've touched the clouds ... he will drop you.
Coming In and Out of the Closet
June 1, 2011
I knew it was coming: writing about sexuality and LGBT issues. I'd tried to avoid it, addressing this issue in all my previous blogs in the most subtle way ... but finally it was time for Olivia Ford from TheBody.com to ask me if I wanted to write about gay pride. Ouch!
God ... Get Outta Here! How I Met My HIV Doctor
April 18, 2011
When I was a child, I had a teacher at school who believed that her mission was to introduce us to God. As you can see, she was a Middle Eastern version of Camp Jesus! She made us believe that God will take care of us for the rest of our lives no matter what; and when difficult times come, it is just his way of slapping us on the wrist -- because we definitely did something bad ... He just wants us to be better.
A Poz Salam
I'm Ibrahim, a 35-year-old professional Muslim man from the Middle East, living in the US. I want to fulfill my big dreams while holding strongly to my culture. My new identity as HIV positive changed my life in a strong way that I am still trying to understand and deal with. By sharing my experience, I'm trying to help myself and others in similar situations to find some peace -- and working on bringing the good change I believe every human must bring to this world. In my attempt to introduce TheBody.com's readers to my part of the world, I won't be taking you far -- I'll start right here, in the US.
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April 26, 2013 - Mental Therapy and HIV: One Patient's Perspective -- A Blog Entry by Ibrahim
July 18, 2012 - A Positive Ramadan: A Blog Entry by Ibrahim
March 23, 2012 - Middle Eastern Food Is Poz Friendly: A Blog Entry by Ibrahim
November 23, 2011 - World AIDS Day 2011: New Activism, New Generation -- A Blog Entry by Ibrahim
October 27, 2011 - Status Undetectable? Not Really! A Blog Entry by Ibrahim
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The opinions expressed by TheBody.com's bloggers are entirely their own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of TheBody.com itself.