A PLACE THAT
WITH HIV & AIDS
WE BELIEVE EVERY
THE CHOICE TO LIVE
WITH DIGNITY, NOT
Founded in August of 1995 by Sister Bernadette Kinniry and Father Don Reilly, Siloam was born out of a conviction that achieving health requires a holistic approach: to successfully beat illness, one must invest in comprehensive wellness. Through a collaborative planning process involving over sixty community members and stakeholders, Siloam has emerged as a truly unique provider of mind/body/soul to support to those living with HIV/AIDS in the Philadelphia area by addressing the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being, as well as the soul of persons living with and or affected by the disease. We believe that each person has a right to their own beliefs and that, to best help them, we must support their unique search for meaning.
What is HIV stigma? HIV stigma is negative attitudes and beliefs about people with HIV. It is the prejudice that comes with labeling an individual as part of a group that is believed to be socially unacceptable. Here are a few examples:
Believing that only certain groups of people can get HIV
Making moral judgments about people who take steps to prevent HIV transmission
Feeling that people deserve to get HIV because of their choices
What is discrimination? While stigma refers to an attitude or belief, discrimination is the behavior that results from those attitudes or beliefs.HIV discrimination is the act of treating people with HIV differently than those without HIV. Here are a few examples:
A health care professional refusing to provide care or services to a person living with HIV
Refusing casual contact with someone living with HIV
Socially isolating a member of a community because they are HIV positive
What are the effects of HIV stigma and discrimination? HIV stigma and discrimination affect the emotional well-being and mental health of people with HIV. People with HIV often internalize the stigma they experience and begin to develop a negative self-image. They may fear they will be discriminated against or judged negatively if their HIV status is revealed. “Internalized stigma” or “self-stigma” happens when a person takes in the negative ideas and stereotypes about people with HIV and start to apply them to themselves. HIV internalized stigma can lead to feelings of shame, fear of disclosure, isolation, and despair. These feelings can keep people from getting tested and treated for HIV
What causes HIV stigma? HIV stigma is rooted in a fear of HIV. Many of our ideas about HIV come from the HIV images that first appeared in the early 1980s. There are still misconceptions about how HIV is transmitted and what it means to live with HIV today. The lack of information and awareness combined with outdated beliefs lead people to fear getting HIV. Additionally, many people think of HIV as a disease that only certain groups get. This leads to negative value judgements about people who are living with HIV.