The Invisible Epidemic: The Story of Women And AIDS

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9780060921910: The Invisible Epidemic: The Story of Women And AIDS

Bringing a feminist perspective to the AIDS crisis--with a focused look at how AIDS has affected the lives of women of all walks of life across the country--Gena Corea's extensive research, in-depth interviews, and compelling prose provide riveting portraits of women infected with HIV.

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While women were being reassured that they were at little risk of getting AIDS, they were expected to prevent the spread of it. It was their job to get men to wear condoms. In response to the epidemic, manufacturers produced "feminine" condom packaging-pastel colors and flowery-for women who were now instructed to carry condoms in their purses. Women are the real "Centers for Disease Control," Dr. Janice Raymond, a medical ethicist and professor of Women's studies at the University of Massachusetts, noted, commenting on the situation.

Review:

The Invisible Epidemic is the story of the medical community's and the health consortium's refusal to acknowledge the effect of AIDS on the female population. The evidence of neglect mounts as Gena Corea unfolds this year by year account from the early 1980s: National Institutes of Health's rejection of proposed research studies on women and AIDS; women being viewed solely as spreaders of the disease in relation to men and babies, rather than as victims; failure on the part of the medical community to classify certain gynecological symptoms as AIDS related (which make for inaccurate estimates of the number of women with AIDS, inadequate treatment and no financial aid); and lack of funding for community programs. Perhaps one of the greatest ironies in all of this is that it is so often women who care for the sick-female nurses in hospitals taking care of gay men, women caring for HIV-infected babies and women caring for other women diagnosed with a disease society wants to deny they have. There are many stories told here, personal, social, political; all lead to to the same reality-that of a society that still will not respond to a life-threatening condition affecting half its population. -- From The WomanSource Catalog & Review: Tools for Connecting the Community for Women; review by Ilene Rosoff

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