By Adina Nack
How do women living with genital herpes and/or HPV (human papillomavirus) infections see themselves as sexual beings, and what choices do they make about sexual health issues? Adina Nack, a medical sociologist who specializes in sexual health and social psychology, conducted in-depth interviews with 43 women about their identities and sexuality with regard to chronic illness. The result is a fascinating book about an issue that affects millions around the world, but is all too little discussed. Damaged Goods'adds to our knowledge of how women are affected by living with chronic STDs and reveals the stages of their sexual self-transformation. From the anxiety of being diagnosed with an STD to issues of blame and shame, Nack-herself diagnosed with a cervical HPV infection-shows why these women, feeling that they are "damaged goods," question future relationships, marriage, and their ability to have healthy children.