Living on the Boundaries
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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.
KeywordsPsychological Issue Death Anxiety Disease Phase Symptomatic Phase Impaired Immune System
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