Women's Experiences with HIV/AIDS : Mending Fractured Selves book cover
1st Edition

Women's Experiences with HIV/AIDS
Mending Fractured Selves

ISBN 9780789017581
Published February 10, 2003 by Routledge
226 Pages

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Book Description

Meet the women behind the statistics!

Women's Experiences with HIV/AIDS: Mending Fractured Selves examines the impact of HIV/AIDS on women, the fastest-growing subgroup of the HIV-infected population of the United States. Based on interviews with HIV-infected women, the book gives voice to their experiences. This powerful text offers a firsthand view of what it is like to live day-to-day as a woman with the added burden of HIV/AIDS.

Women's Experiences with HIV/AIDS is a powerful and compelling look at the day-to-day struggles of 37 women infected with HIV. Their stories detail their ongoing efforts—with varying degrees of success—to come to grips with the disease as they try to rebuild their lives. Through qualitative analysis, the book demonstrates the importance of relational resources, such as AIDS activism, support groups, and social support. It also addresses potential problems for women associated with caregiving and presents ethnographic research findings on the complex factors that affect women with HIV (socioeconomic status, sexual preference, lifestyle differences).

Women's Experiences with HIV/AIDS also addresses research topics such as:

  • how HIV infection affects a woman's sense of self
  • how women repair disruption and restore identities
  • the limits to women's coping strategies and whether those strategies still work if women become functionally impaired or develop AIDS
  • how women's structural and social environments facilitate or impede repair
  • the role of women's informal networks in biological disruption and repair
A rare look at the experience of women infected with HIV (most studies focus on male samples), Women's Experiences with HIV/AIDS is an invaluable academic resource as a course supplement in the fields of medical sociology, women's studies, public health, and community health, and is an enlightening read for everyone interested in HIV/AIDS research.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. Introduction
  • Disruption and Legitimation: Hillary
  • Problematic Repair Strategies: Denise
  • Disruption and Nonrepair: Stephanie
  • HIV/AIDS As a Gender Issue
  • Analytic Framework: Biographical Disruption and HIV/AIDS
  • Sample and Methodology
  • Overview of This Book
  • Chapter 2. “Feeling Like Nothing”: Receiving an HIV Diagnosis and Initial Disruption
  • Biographical Disruption Among Women with HIV/AIDS
  • Hopelessness
  • Disbelief
  • Social Withdrawal
  • Placing Blame
  • Putting Oneself Last
  • Assigning Meaning and Sense of Self
  • Women and Disruption
  • Chapter 3. Living with HIV Infection: The Impact of Illness on Everyday Life
  • Gender and the Psychosocial Impact of HIV Infection
  • Adaptive Tasks for Women with HIV/AIDS
  • The Perceived Significance of Gender
  • Women's Unique Experiences and Needs
  • Chapter 4. Towards Legitimation: Coping with HIV/AIDS
  • Coping with HIV/AIDS: A Brief Review of the Literature
  • Women's Ways of Coping: Repairing Disrupted Biographies
  • Going Public and Becoming an Activist
  • Support Groups
  • Spirituality
  • Establishing Positive Lifestyles
  • Avoidance
  • Legitimation and Sense of Self
  • Chapter 5. Social Support: The Role of Informal Networks in Women's Lives
  • Social Support and HIV/AIDS
  • Familial Support Networks
  • Problematic Support
  • Keeping the Secret: Untapped Support Networks and Self-Protection
  • Social Support and Illness Progression: Speculating on the Likelihood of Future Support
  • Chapter 6. Women As Carers: The Dual Challenge of Caregiving and Living with HIV Infection
  • Mothering
  • Planning for the Future: Child Care and Guardianship
  • Caring for Adults with HIV/AIDS
  • The Consequences of Caring
  • Chapter 7. Multiple Assaults on Self: The Relative Impact of HIV/AIDS on Women's Lives
  • “I'm Used to Being Ate Up Anyway”
  • “Nothing Compares to HIV”
  • The Relative Impact of Assaults
  • Chapter 8. Disruption and Repair: Lessons from Women's Illness Experiences
  • The Strengths and Weaknesses of Women's Coping
  • Formal Care and Women with HIV Infection
  • Empowerment and Social Change
  • Experiencing Illness: Extending HIV-Positive Women's Experiences to Other Populations
  • Appendix: Sample Demographic Summary
  • References
  • Index

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R Dennis Shelby, Desiree Ciambrone