Damaged Goods?: Women Living With Incurable Sexually Transmitted Diseases

July 16, 2013 - Comment

How do women living with genital herpes and/or HPV (human papillomavirus) infections see themselves as sexual beings, and what choices do they make about sexual health issues? Adina Nack, a medical sociologist who specializes in sexual health and social psychology, conducted in-depth interviews with 43 women about their identities and sexuality with regard to chronic

How do women living with genital herpes and/or HPV (human papillomavirus) infections see themselves as sexual beings, and what choices do they make about sexual health issues? Adina Nack, a medical sociologist who specializes in sexual health and social psychology, conducted in-depth interviews with 43 women about their identities and sexuality with regard to chronic illness. The result is a fascinating book about an issue that affects millions around the world, but is all too little discussed. “Damaged Goods?” adds to our knowledge of how women are affected by living with chronic STDs and reveals the stages of their sexual self-transformation. From the anxiety of being diagnosed with an STD to issues of blame and shame, Nack – herself diagnosed with a cervical HPV infection – shows why these women, feeling that they are “damaged goods,” question future relationships, marriage, and their ability to have healthy children.


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Living Life says:

I’m my daughter’s mother again As a mother of a young woman living with HPV, this book helped me understand her feelings and fears. Whether your daughter is 13 or 30, this is a must read for parents. After sharing this book ,we were able to sit down and begin a dialogue. Her mood swings and anger that had been directed at me were really symptoms of her trying to cope with her diagnosis. I didn’t realize how alone and “damaged” my daughter felt. Our relationship is so much stronger now.

A. Hallam says:

A Real Page Turner! Damaged Goods? easily brings to life the reality of STDs in a way that so many other educational books fall short. Even if you are not yourself suffering from an STD, Damaged Goods?, gives you a glimpse into the life of someone living with HPV or HSV and how their life is no more different from mine or anyone else’s. The book was a quick and interesting read that presented information in an easy and tangible way for anyone, you don’t need a strong academic background to understand that these are the real lives of women everywhere and they need their voices to be heard. I would recommend this to any woman: mother, daughter, or friend.

changetheworld says:

Insightful Book! After reading this book for a class, I was amazed at how insightful and helpful this book is to not only someone living with HPV or HSV, but also to all of those people who they encounter and are possibly affected by it (significant others, doctors, parents, friends, etc.). Adina Nack nails every single feeling and account of women going through this painful experience, and brings it into the light of sympathy, not judgement. The stigma that goes along with this situation is wrong, hurtful and unfair. Nack’s efforts to de-stigmatize this problem are impressive and encouraging and her words really have something for everyone to benefit from. The jokes need to stop. The ignorant comments need to stop. The stigma needs to stop. This book is definitely amazing and should be experienced by everyone because everyone is affected in one way or another.

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