How do HIV-positive individuals gather and use the financial resources and social support necessary to manage their health?

As a scholar working at the intersection of sociology, African American Studies, and public policy studies, in 2004 I began conducting interviews and participant-observation with black women living with HIV/AIDS in Chicago to understand the epidemic’s impact on this group. Over the course of a decade, my research team and I expanded this research, culminating in interviews with over 100 HIV-positive women of diverse racial, ethnic, class, and sexual identities and backgrounds in Chicago. We have also conducted interviews with over forty advocates, activists, and service providers who assist them.

Explaining transformation – the movement from death to life in contexts of stigmatization and disadvantage – is the goal at the center of my work. In Remaking a Life, Reversing an Epidemic: HIV/AIDS and the Politics of Transformation (forthcoming with the University of California Press), I analyze the transformations of both the AIDS epidemic and the women at the center of the storm.

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