By Nicholas Dorn
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Extra resources for AIDS: Women, Drugs and Social Care: Women, Drugs & Social Care (Social Aspects of Aids Series, Vol 1)
Services at that time in Edinburgh had been set up to respond to the problem of drug misuse which, in terms of injecting, tended to concentrate itself in areas of urban development and multiple deprivation 26 PERSPECTIVES ON HIV FROM EDINBURGH (Robertson, 1987). , 1988). Funding limitations and other constraints on these new services did little to enable provision of a comprehensive service. Local workers expressed the view that these exchanges were ‘set up to fail’ and it was soon acknowledged that the Edinburgh exchange, open only for two hours each week, was inadequate.
Everything had shifted, her perception of herself. She felt more powerful, assertive. Another woman spoke of developing skills in prioritizing different areas of her life. Saying ‘no’ sometimes, conserving energy, making the time to ‘recharge batteries’ were all things seen as difficult for women to do but which a positive response to HIV could precipitate. Humour was referenced as another important mechanism for responding to the virus. One woman described its role in her support group: AIDS: WOMEN, DRUGS AND SOCIAL CARE 23 There’s a lot of jokes, black humour—like who’s going to be the next to come down with PCP [pneumocystis carinii pneumonia].
Support can be sought at both formal (through linemanagement) and informal (through friends and colleagues) levels. It can also be brought in privately. One social worker did this and expressed its value in terms of being able to look at what’s actually happening with me—what issues are being touched in me…that I’m a bad person—that I’m no good because I can’t solve the problems in Edinburgh—then I have to take them 36 PERSPECTIVES ON HIV FROM EDINBURGH elsewhere…so that there’s someone stepping back and being objective.
AIDS: Women, Drugs and Social Care: Women, Drugs & Social Care (Social Aspects of Aids Series, Vol 1) by Nicholas Dorn