AIDS: Women, Drugs and Social Care: Women, Drugs & Social by Nicholas Dorn

By Nicholas Dorn

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

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Of these, 919 (52 per cent), had been identified as injecting drug users and of this number, 563 cases were identified in Edinburgh; 68 per cent were males. 3 per cent (n=32), since 1989. (Answer, 14 April, 1990). By February 1990, thirty-seven AIDS 40 PERSPECTIVES ON HIV FROM EDINBURGH cases among injecting drug users were recorded, nine of whom had died (an increase of over 100 per cent on 1989 figures). Some of the original participants met in February, 1990 to discuss changes in policy, practice and provision that had taken place since the original meetings in 1989.

Specific areas included: what to expect in terms of symptoms, the relative risks of different forms of safer sex, the risks of pregnancy and to existing children, where to get what kind of support and so on. Support in terms of adjusting to living with the virus and learning to make personal priorities, making informed choices over health-care (including gaining access to its holistic forms) was identified as an area in need of development. Assistance with childcare—free from the fear of having them taken into care—was seen as a major form of support currently lacking.

Only one statutory centre, known from 1969 to 1988 as the National Drug Advisory and Treatment Centre, was established in Dublin, while general medical practitioners, community psychiatric services and other generic health and social service workers were discouraged from becoming involved with drug users. Similarly, just one residential rehabilitation centre, Coolemine Therapeutic Community—a voluntary agency—was established; Coolemine was heavily influenced from 1979 onwards by Daytop Village Therapeutic Community in New York, as a result of which it continued to promote uncritically the view that drug problems were largely explicable in terms of individual personality disorder and that a commitment to total abstinence was a prerequisite for any involvement of health and social services with drug users.

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