Working with Women and AIDS: Medical, Social, and Counselling Issues

By Judy Bury; Val Morrison et al. | Go to book overview

8

Education and the prevention of HIV infection

Judy Bury
At face value the prevention of HIV infection seems simple. It has even been suggested that not one more person needs to become infected with HIV. The prevention message is certainly very clear:
• avoid intercourse if you can; if you must have intercourse, use a condom.
• don’t inject drugs; if you must inject, don’t share needles and syringes.

So what is the problem? Why is prevention difficult? Obviously this is an issue for both men and women but in this chapter I shall explore some of the reasons why prevention is more difficult than it seems, concentrating particularly on why women find it difficult to protect themselves against HIV infection. I shall then go on to look at some of the implications of this for sex education in schools.

My own experience has been as a doctor and counsellor in a youth advisory centre and subsequently as a general practitioner, during which time I also visited schools to talk about relationships, sex and contraception. I have had less involvement in health education but I shall discuss some of the issues that seem to me to be important in mass media health campaigns. I shall also look at some implications for counselling women at risk.


DIFFICULTIES WITH HIV PREVENTION

One factor that affects people’s willingness to protect themselves is the extent to which they perceive themselves to be at risk (Aggleton et al. 1988, Stockdale et al. 1989). Much irresponsible journalism, fuelled by pronouncements by some public figures, has led many people to believe that the risk of heterosexual transmission of HIV infection is very small. The continuing tendency to talk of ‘high risk groups’ and to attribute blame, has led many people to think that AIDS is something that happens to other people and not to them (Aggleton et al. 1988). Thus heterosexual people may

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Working with Women and AIDS: Medical, Social, and Counselling Issues
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Foreword xiii
  • Acknowledgements xv
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - Background Issues 7
  • 1 - Women and the Aids Epidemic 9
  • 2 - Social Issues 23
  • 3 - Reflections on Women and Hiv/Aids in New York City and the United States 32
  • Part II - Contraception and Pregnancy 41
  • 4 - Pregnancy, Heterosexual Transmission and Contraception 43
  • 5 - Pregnancy and Hiv 58
  • References 68
  • Part III - Prostitution 69
  • 6 - Hiv and the Sex Industry 71
  • 7 - Developing a Service for Prostitutes in Glasgow 85
  • References 95
  • Part IV - Education and Counselling Issues 97
  • 8 - Education and the Prevention of Hiv Infection 99
  • 9 - Offering Safer Sex Counselling to Women from Drug-Using Communities 110
  • References 116
  • 10 - Women as Carers 117
  • Part V - Feelings and Needs 123
  • 11 - Feelings and Needs of Women Who Are Hiv Positive 125
  • 12 - Being Positive 135
  • 13 - Poems 142
  • Name Index 146
  • Subject Index 148
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