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

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This group also contained two researchers, one working with prostitutes and rent boys on a study of HIV-related behaviours, the other (an ex-nurse) researching alcohol use, stress and risk-taking behaviours. The carers who took part in this Edinburgh study represented statutory, non-statutory, clinical and non-clinical services. Most had several years direct experience in working with drug users, a few had only become ‘involved’ since the advent and spread of HIV into the community. The conversations which took place were therefore based on a wealth of personal and professional experience and expertise, but do not necessarily reflect the opinions of other members of the organizations represented.

Stigma and prejudice are not only a waste of time, but if used as delaying tactics for service provision also lead to a waste of lives. In the general public there is a great need for information and education so as to overcome the feeling that HIV and AIDS are synonymous and that those infected are dangerous and to be avoided at all costs. The impression many carers had was that the general public would not greatly change their attitudes until they knew someone who was infected. Although, as the consultant paediatrician stressed There isn’t the time to wait until everyone has a personal experience.

Sex workers (prostitutes and rent-boys) have become a group targeted by research and educational projects (Plant, Plant and Morgan-Thomas 1990). g. ). Childcare needs are being recognized with a push for respite care and foster care of children of HIV-infected mothers or fathers. Parents, particularly single mothers, are being encouraged to be involved in the choice of foster families for their children, in the event of their death. The rationale for this is that mothers can feel less guilty and worried about their child(ren)’s futures and relax a little and look at their own issues.

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