AIDS: Intervening with Hidden Grievers

AIDS: Intervening with Hidden Grievers

AIDS: Intervening with Hidden Grievers

AIDS: Intervening with Hidden Grievers


Dane and Miller address the compelling need of AIDS survivors who grieve, often confused and alone, for understanding and support. The authors set a context for their discussion and recommendations by setting forth theories of grief and bereavement and by describing the status of the AIDS epidemic and the implications linked thereto. They examine the stigma reaction to death from AIDS and explore how it impacts the several subsets of society. Clinical interventions are recommended. Brief, well focused case studies illustrate essential points and permit the discussion of key principles of the counseling process.


Ten years have past since the recognition of aids began, and now the disease is an integral part of the broad culture and everyday life. More than two hundred thousand Americans have been diagnosed with the disease and more than a million persons are infected with the Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV) associated with the prospective occurrence of serious illness years later. aids and hiv have become emblematic of Death as we approach the closing of the next millennium.

Justifiably to date, major attention has been given to the prevention of hiv transmission and the care of the sick and the dying. Recently, more attention have been given to the role of caregivers: the kin and friends of people with aids who undergo a series of crises that may have pernicious social and emotional consequences. Typically, such discussions of caregivers do not adequately address the reality that the problem of aids persists after a pwa dies, at a significant if not at a traumatic level, for grieving and bereaved loved ones.

Sadly the denial of grief goes hand-in-glove with the denial of death. For this reason alone, we should celebrate the wise analysis of Barabara Dane and Sam Miller, even if we may be discomforted by their subject matter. I humbly recommend that readers find the courage to proceed in the exploration of bereavement and aids as the authors suggest. in the second decade we will have to come to terms with the heavy toll of death that lives in the souls of millions of survivors of the aids pandemic in this country and throughout the world.

The depth of the aids trauma for survivors can only be understood in the context of the hurt and the remembrance of any group of people who suffers mass bereavement that has stark political and cultural meanings. Perhaps, the analogies of war and genocide in the twentieth century are . . .

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