14 Critical Soc. Pol'y 5 (1994)

handle is hein.journals/critsplcy14 and id is 1 raw text is: 

Life, love and HIV: the women's
symposium on HIV and AIDS

BARBARA LITTLEWOOD



Abstract

Although  therd is a lot of 'knowledge' about AIDS in circulation, this
paper  argues that much of it excludes women's distinctive experiences
which  are illuminated by a feminist perspective. It illustrates these
claims  through interviews and discussions with a number of HIV+
Scottish women  about their personal relationships; their experience of
health care, and their hopes for the future. 'Safe sex' and disclosure of
status pose particular problems for women attempting to negotiate
responsible risk reduction behaviour in relationships marked by
imbalances  of power. Women  only support groups are an important
source of solidarity for those who are often isolated and stigmatised by
their 'positive status, and the video made by one such group, here
discussed, dcmanstrates how they can teach others, whatever their
status, to live with HIV.

The coverage of HIV  and AIDS  comes and goes in the media, often
related to the death of celebrities, such as Freddy Mercury, Denholm
Elliott, or Rudolph Nureyev. There are also odd stories about the
prospects for new drug treatments, or features on the risks to hetero-
sexuals. Occasionally, marking World AIDS day on 1 December, there
might be statistical updates on the rates of infection and death. We
might also see the odd government health warning, or the recent adver-
tisements for 'Femidom', the new female 'condom'. So though in one
sense, there is a lot of knowledge about AIDS in circulation, we can ask
what kind of knowledge is it?


Carol:
'At one point her reaction was If I kent anyone with AIDS I'd get 'em
on Cramond  Island - I'd keep them there - I'd shoot them, dirty junkie
bastards. So I turned round and said Actually I've got HIV. Am, I
one of the ones you'd put on the Island - am I a dirty junkie bastard?.
And  she clammed up'.1


5

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