About Siloam

A PLACE THAT
PEOPLE LIVING
WITH HIV & AIDS
HAVE CALLED
HOME FOR
24 YEARS!

WE BELIEVE EVERY
PERSON DESERVES

THE CHOICE TO LIVE
WITH DIGNITY, NOT
DEPENDENCE.

OUR STORY

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.

THE STIGMA

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.

WHAT CAN BE DONE

ABOUT HIV STIGMA?

WHY DONATE?

Siloam's Work Doesn't Just Stop At Treating HIV...

Siloam Helps With Healthy Decision Making

Substance Abuse Recovery, Recidivism, Employment, Education, Etc.

MIND

One-on-one counseling, weekly support sessions with those living with HIV, as well as support sessions for caregivers.

Benefits:

  • Increased self-esteem

  • Greater adherence to medical, nutritional and mental health protocols

  • Acquisition of problem solving, communication, and coping skills addressing issues of disclosure, stigma and negotiating complex systems of care and support

  • Decreased feelings of isolation and depression

  • Learn to love oneself

BODY

Choice Food Pantry, Massage, Tai Chi, Reiki, Chi Kung, Yoga, Meditation, Reflexology, Healthy Cooking, Chair Yoga, Spirit Dance and Silver Sneakers.

Benefits:

  • No Healing Can Begin If You’re Hungry

  • Muscle relaxation​

  • Increased circulation

  • Released tension

  • Increased energy flow

  • Improved balance and focus

  • Decreased cramping

  • Decreased edema

  • Reduced Depression

SPIRIT

Benefits:

  • Improved relationships

  • Increased self-esteem

  • Reduction of stress levels

Spirituality

All of us, by nature, are spiritual. It is innate in each of us, regardless of our age, race, religion or non-religion.

Spirituality was in existence since the beginning of creation. Religion came much later, seeking to nurture and celebrate spirituality. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it does not.

Spirituality means relating in ways that are mutually life giving. It embodies and celebrates our inter-connectedness, not only with others, but also with nature, with our very self, with higher power….however one knows that to be, and with those who have gone before us, and those who will come after us.

Spirituality is a lived experience, a conscious involvement in the project of life integration via self-transcendence toward the ultimate value one perceives.

Spirituality’s ultimate purpose is integration, ever in ways that are mutually life-giving.