Living on the Boundaries

  • Lena Nilsson Schönnesson
  • Michael W. Ross
Part of the AIDS Prevention and Mental Health book series (APMH)


Retrospectively, various diseases such as leprosy, the plague, and tuberculosis have evoked fear, disgust, repudiation, but also stigmatization of the afflicted person. Their equivalent of today is HIV infection. As we write this, the HIV epidemic has raged for over 20 years and has been known about for 17 years. The natural disease process is relatively well understood and the secrets of the virus are being unlocked by science. Yet, an equivalent understanding of the psychological, social, and sexual aspects of the drama of HIV infection and its psychological landscapes in which it is embedded has been slower in coming. Unlike the response of the body to HIV infection, which has a more finite range of possibilities, the response of the person with HIV to their condition may encompass a wide range of reactions and adaptations across their life span and across the phases of the disease.


Psychological Issue Death Anxiety Disease Phase Symptomatic Phase Impaired Immune System 
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    Klitzman R. Being Positive: The Lives of Men and Women with HIV. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee; 1997.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lena Nilsson Schönnesson
    • 1
  • Michael W. Ross
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Social WorkUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  2. 2.WHO Center for Health Promotion Research and Development School of Public HealthUniversity of Texas, Houston Health Science CenterHoustonUSA

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