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February 08 , 2008

Women and AIDS

Negotiating Safer Practices, Care, and Representation


For many women, the advice “Use a condom!” is not enough to help protect them from HIV infection. As Women and AIDS reveals, “negotiating” safer sex practices is a very complex issue for women who are involved in relationships where they do not enjoy physical, social, or economic equality. The book’s authors maintain that the key to curbing the spread of HIV and to caring for those already infected – is communication. Women and AIDS is the first volume to address HIV/AIDS and women from a communication perspective.

This helpful guidebook addresses how women might achieve safer sexual and drug injection practices with partners, but it also explores women’s negotiation of the health care system as patients, medical research subjects, and caregivers. It challenges traditional assumptions about the relationship between care providers and patients and the meaning of patient compliance and raises important questions about gender, race, and class that are exacerbated by the epidemic. Designed to ground interventions in the realities of women’s lives, Women and AIDS discusses what women can do to get around communication and health care obstacles. To this end, you will learn about:
  • using the media for HIV-related social action and to promote women’s views of HIV and sexuality
  • prison health care for HIV-positive women
  • cultural constructions of sex and drug sharing in a variety of communities
  • long-term changes that will empower women
  • delivering an HIV-positive diagnosis to patients
  • gender roles and caregiving
  • the language we use to talk about “Third World” women and “Asian AIDS”
  • women AIDS filmmakers/videographers
For the benefit of AIDS activists, health care providers, and counselors, Women and AIDS discusses women and their communication and awareness from virtually every angle. This book analyzes situations where communication breaks down – from the woman who can’t openly discuss safe sex with her partner, to the drunk college student who “hooks up,” to the doctor who gives an HIV-positive diagnosis without compassion – and offers communication solutions. This will help women avoid such risks, establish communication and safety in their lives, and construct meaningful roles in relationship to HIV/AIDS.
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