Being Positive

Being Positive

by Robert Klitzman
     
 

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Being Positive gives us the clearest picture we have of what life is like for people who have been diagnosed HIV positive. Based upon unique in-depth interviews with a broad cross-section of patients, the book is remarkable for its candor and compassionate analysis. The people speak for themselves. “Through these pages,” Robert Klitzman writes, “I

Overview

Being Positive gives us the clearest picture we have of what life is like for people who have been diagnosed HIV positive. Based upon unique in-depth interviews with a broad cross-section of patients, the book is remarkable for its candor and compassionate analysis. The people speak for themselves. “Through these pages,” Robert Klitzman writes, “I have tried to present a picture—a group portrait—and a sense of the fabric and texture of these individual’s lives. Their stories taught me much about how people find meaning and cope with apparently overwhelming difficulties.” In looking for patterns in these lives, Dr. Klitzman has focused first on the problems these new patients face—the uncertainties, losses, and taboos; then on how they adapt—their new life in “HIV-land,” their spiritual beliefs, work and volunteerism, family relations, drugs and sex, and denial psychology. Finally he considers the implications of this major new medical problem and how it has forced us to examine so many personal, political, and institutional issues surrounding illness and the threat of death. Being Positive is not only a humanizing antidote to statistical studies of HIV and AIDS, it is an important benchmark in understanding the lives and experiences of the people who are affected.

Editorial Reviews

London Times
Arresting work...should be widely read by practitioners, researchers, and policymakers.
— Arthur Kleinman, M.D., Harvard Medical School
Clifford Geertz
An unforgettable picture of what extremity looks like...intense.
Fenton Johnson
I know of no higher praise than to name a book necessary. Being Positive is that and more.
Abraham Verghese
These are compelling stories...reminds us that we have so much to learn about life and death.
London Times - Arthur Kleinman
Arresting work...should be widely read by practitioners, researchers, and policymakers.
Abraham Verghese M.D.
These are compelling stories...reminds us that we have so much to learn about life and death.
London Times - Arthur Kleinman M.D.
Arresting work...should be widely read by practitioners, researchers, and policymakers.
Journal of the American Medical Association
Being Positive provides many important lessons and messages for health care workers as they try to fit into the priorities and actual lives of people living with the virus. The title symbolizes both HIV positivity and the attitude of those affected. Dr Klitzman's stories reveal not only appropriate coping mechanisms, but actual psychological, social, and spiritual growth resulting from the struggle his subjects have faced in getting on with their lives...in being able to both be positive and be HIV positive.
Journal of Gay & Lesbian Psychotherapy
What distinguishes this series of narratives from others is the observation and reflection on...experiences of those...represented in the book.
Library Journal
Parts of this book are difficult to read. Included here are stories of people rejected by their family, living on the streets, neglecting their children, drinking too much, shooting up too much, and not caring nearly enough. But there are inspirational stories as well. Psychiatrist Klitzman (In a House of Dreams and Glass, LJ 3/1/95), who conducted in-depth interviews with people who contracted HIV through sexual contact or IV drug use, noticed six patterns of how they deal with their HIV status: the alternative culture of HIV social organizations, spirituality, focused work and volunteerism, turning to their families, minimizing their illness or denying it, and seeking relief of stress through drugs and alcohol. Some souls try all six. An insightful work; recommended for medical and academic libraries.Lee Arnold, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Booknews
In-depth interviews with a broad cross-sections of people with HIV provide a compassionate portrait of their losses, strengths, and attitudes, and their ability to finding meaning in life. Looks at patterns of spiritual beliefs, work and volunteer activities, and family relations through perspectives from anthropology, existential psychiatry, and depth psychology. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781566631648
Publisher:
Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
Publication date:
01/01/1997
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
7.42(w) x 8.64(h) x 1.03(d)

What People are saying about this

Clifford Geertz
An unforgettable picture of what extremity looks like...intense.
Fenton Johnson
I know of no higher praise than to name a book necessary. Being Positive is that and more.
— author of Geography of the Heart.

Meet the Author

Robert Klitzman is a psychiatrist at Columbia University and author of A Year-long Night and In a House of Dreams and Glass, both highly praised accounts of his medical and psychiatric training.

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