In the United States there is an official separation of church and state. Individualism is encouraged. In the Muslim community, this is not necessarily the case. It would be extremely difficult to councel the Muslim clients without better understanding how they see the world.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, continue to be spread mainly through unprot- ected heterosexual and homosexual activity, contaminated intravenous needles and to a lesser degree, through prenatal infection and contaminated blood products
However, because AIDS was seen as a homosexual disease at the beginning of the epidemic, many Muslims think they are immune from HIV infection. Muslims need to understand that AIDS spreads through heterosexual intercourse with someone carrying the virus both from men to women and women to men.
Prevention for Muslims
The primary prevention message for the Muslim community is: no intravenous or other drug use and total abstinence before and in-between marriages. Chastity and modesty for both males and females is emphasized in the Holy Qur’an and hadith.
“And among his signs is this, that he created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and he has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are signs for those who reflect.”[Ar-Rum.30:21]
On the surface, and by western standards, abstaining from any sexual activity appears to be a difficult request, when we culturally in America are constantly surrounded by sexually explicate imagery and suggestions. The Muslim client understands and more importantly, accepts these conditions as an act of faith and compliance.
Islam requires spouses to tell marriage partner about any condition, including HIV-infection, which can affect health. There are no objections to the use of condoms when used to protect a spouse’s health.
Islam prohibits anal intercourse. Sex during a woman’s menstruation is also prohibited.
Islam prohibits all drugs and intoxicating substance as this can cause damage to the brain and impair judgement. Muslims with alcohol and/or drug high risk behaviors are strongly encouraged to seek treatment to sustain from continuing to consume intoxicants.
In the United States, many masjids (Mosques), have an Islamic version of Narcotics Anonymous. Counselors can contact the local masjids for further information.
There will be, of course some Muslims who are still engaged in open high-risk behaviors. This population is stracized within Muslim communities and they would be unlikely to seek counseling from traditional Islamic resources. Counselors must understand the dilemma of those individuals and provide compassionate counseling and referrals to more traditional AIDS service providing organizations
For more information about the month of Ramadan contact your local masjids (Mosque). They will have information which details the exact hours the fast begins and ends.
This Project is funded by the Ford
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accesses since september 17, 1998