Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
VERMELHO, Leticia Legay; BARBOSA, Regina Helena Simões and NOGUEIRA, Susie Andries. Women with AIDS: disclosing risk stories. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1999, vol.15, n.2, pp. 369-379. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X1999000200021.
This study approaches the social and cultural profile concerning risk for HIV infection in women, describing some epidemiological variables and disclosing reports of risk situations, the meaning of living with AIDS, and support received. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to interview 25 women from the University Hospital of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, prior to the availability of multi-drug treatment. The majority reported limited schooling, were housewives or engaged in under-skilled occupations, and had family incomes lower than average for users of this public teaching hospital. The view of AIDS as "someone else's disease" was prevalent, and STDs were perceived as male infections, although several women reported episodes of STDs prior to HIV. They had received their diagnosis and initial medical care only after their partners' and/or children's illness or death. The study points to preventive strategies reinforcing these silent women's bargaining power, acting on men as potential active participants in reproductive health programs that incorporate STD/AIDS issues.
Keywords : Women's Health; HIV; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.