Additionally, Ms. Barrazotto spent a year teaching photography to several of the book's contributors. It is the clients' photographic imagery that illustrates the book.
An historical and current overview of the alarming HIV infection rate among African Americans, in particular women, introduces the crisis. Subsequent chapters highlight HIV/AIDS prevention and intervention strategies that are successfully impacting the African American population. Guided by a feminist perspective and grounded in social construction theory, social work theory, and social work practice, this volume privileges the voice of African American women, the group that is the most disenfranchised--and least accurately represented--in AIDS-related research and writing. This essential guide sheds light on a calamity too often overlooked, making it especially valuable for scholars, students, researchers, and practitioners involved with HIV/AIDS issues in the African American community, and with women's and black studies.
Using data obtained from structured interviews and responses to questionnaires concerning clergy responses to real and hypothetical situations involving people who are HIV-positive or who have AIDS, the authors illustrate how clergy and organized religious groups confronted a new and acute fatal illness that was initially associated with stigmatized behavior. They demonstrate that many clergy saw their roles as advocates for these individuals and as providers of pastoral and spiritual care, in spite of the rhetoric of conservative and fundamentalist clergy who condemned the victims as an example of the wrath of God against gay and bisexual men. The study also shows that even those who were less actively engaged in AIDS pastoral care and counseling demonstrated tolerance for those affected by it. Follow-up interviews indicate, finally, that as AIDS became more of a chronic illness, the social movement to provide religious and spiritual care and counseling began to wane.
This book has two unique features. First, the creative coping strategies developed to deal with HIV are explored primarily through the words of those living and/or working with the virus. O'Brien utilized more than 350 hours of tape-recorded interviews to glean the insightful and poignant anecdotes which describe their walk with HIV. Second, the HIV-positive individuals described are long-term survivors of the virus. Although that population consists primarily of gay men, the case is made that they are the first group of people with HIV to experience long-term survival; thus, their coping strategies and those of the people close to them provide a model for others moving into the survivor category. An important resource for nurses, social workers, chaplains, others in fields working with HIV/AIDs patients, and their families and friends.
The book begins with a thorough survey of the HIV/AIDS caregiving context. Then some of the major stresses in HIV/AIDS caregiving are identified. The special issues and challenges confronted by female, African-American, and gay caregivers are then reviewed. The next essay examines how the caregiver can approach questions from both clients' and patients' perspectives and the caregiver's sero-status. After focusing on the key issues of spirituality in HIV/AIDS care, the issue of multiple loss, and the grieving process, the book concludes with a synthesis and suggestions for new perspectives on the caregiving process. The collection is intended to be a major resource for professional caregivers as well as family members and loved ones.