Mortal Men: Living with Asymptomatic HIV

Mortal Men: Living with Asymptomatic HIV

By: Richard MacIntyre (author), Stephen Lacey (foreword_author)Hardback

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People who have lived for many years with HIV but without symptoms are asked to fight a virus they cannot see and a disease they cannot feel. This not only colours decisions about medical treatment, it also affects personal identity, sexuality, community and lifestyle. Initially concerned with several men who knew they were HIV positive but who elected not to monitor their T-cells, MacIntyre focuses on the ways in which HIV+ gay men in his own community interpreted their diagnoses and made treatment decisions. The result is a partly autobiographical (MacIntyre tested positive for HIV in 1985 and is as yet asymptomatic) and a collection of conversations between the author and several articulate, well-educated HIV+ gay men. The text uncovers constrasting beliefs on health, illness and medicine as well as psychological and sociocultural issues that influence medical and lifestyle decisions. The stories in this book show how several asymptomatic HIV+ gay men in the early 1990s experienced the ministrations of their doctors and the pronouncements of the press; how they either took up or resisted the ways in which their friends and community understood the disease and its treatments; how relationships to the health care system that ranged from complete trust to fragile trust to overt distrust or fear affected treatment decisions. That MacIntyre has chronicled their struggles both preserves their humanity and endows the future with the insights that they developed in response to death. In the process, the text aims to offer new discernment and possibilities for people coping with serious illness and for people who must construct new meanings for life in the midst of death and the technologies engineered to prevent it. MacIntyre notes that standard interpretations of viral loads have nearly made the concept of a healthy HIV+ person an oxymoron, despite the fact that many HIV+ people have been living healthy lives for more than a decade without pharmaceutical intervention. But this book is not so much about the pros and cons of various treatments as it is about how a group of gay men confronted and lived with HIV and the options available to them in the early 1990s.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780813525969
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 256
  • ID: 9780813525969
  • ISBN10: 0813525969

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