AIDS: Women, Drugs and Social Care: Women, Drugs & Social by Nicholas Dorn

By Nicholas Dorn

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Extra resources for AIDS: Women, Drugs and Social Care: Women, Drugs & Social Care (Social Aspects of Aids Series, Vol 1)

Sample text

For example, methadone was available on prescription only for HIV antibody-positive drug users at the City Hospital; supported accommodation was available to those AIDS: WOMEN, DRUGS AND SOCIAL CARE 31 positive or symptomatic; and clothing grants and other financial assistance could be applied for if a positive diagnosis was confirmed. As one drug-using client was reported to have said, I’ve needed help before and nobody wanted to know me; now I’m HIV-positive everybody wants to know me. HIV-negative people felt justified in their anger and had been heard to say, I’d be as well to become positive, then I’d get some help.

Anger had been expressed by drug users at this time that new services were springing up to help those with the virus, rather than to help those who were negative remain uninfected. Social Services initiated a programme of Supported Accommodation, again only available to those infected or symptomatic. Local drugs workers have campaigned for many years for a crisis centre. However, National Health Service funds earmarked for this had been shelved at the time of writing. The Study Participants It is against this backdrop then, that the discussions leading to this paper were set up.

You know, saying take care, you must have a rest, don’t do that. It’s like their own fear. I pick up so much fear from people who aren’t positive, I end up getting angry. 22 LIVING WITH THE VIRUS Above all, participants felt that a major change in general attitudes to HIV would constitute a significant source of support. With the heavy stigma of HIV lifted, only the hard work of living with life-threatening illness would remain. Re-Evaluation and Contradiction I never think of myself as dying, it’s very important that we’re living with HIV, we’re not victims of it.

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