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Talib Mahdi

Talib Mahdi is a 67 year old African-American who was diagnosed HIV + in 1985. At that time, being diagnosed with HIV was tantamount to a death sentence. The stigma of this diagnosis made him feel like a leper in American society. Faced with the prospect of death and being ostracized, he sank deeper into illegal drug use.  For the next 11 years his condition deteriorated as he continued in a downward spiral of drug addiction and despair. In 1993 he was diagnosed with full blown AIDS.


In 1997 he moved from Florida to Cleveland, OH to live with his sister and his life began to change. His bother-in-law suggested he go into treatment for his drug addiction. His sister, who worked at a local hospital, made an appointment for him with their AIDS clinic, the John T. Carey Special Immunology Unit at University Hospitals. With the help and direction of his treatment counselors he began attending 12 Step meetings which had a tremendous effect on his life. He has been drug free for 24 years. With the help of his doctors, his condition improved miraculously.

Talib graduated from Lakeland Community College in 2000 Cum Laude with an Associate’s Degree in Applied Business, Information Systems. He is working as a Database Administrator for a non-profit corporation where he has been employed for 17 years. He has received several employee awards for exemplary service.  He has been  a mentor for newly diagnosed patients and serves on the Patient Advisory Board at the John T. Carey Special Immunology Unit. He continues attending 12 Step meetings - not only for his personal recovery, but to also help the sick and suffering addict and alcoholic find recovery.

 With the support of his family, doctors, nurses, counselors, recovering addicts and his Higher Power, Talib is an example of what is possible for those who are afflicted with HIV/AIDS. Through all of this he has also learned that “The Gift is in The Giving.”



My Speakers Sessions

Friday, September 22

6:30pm EDT