Mortal Secrets by Robert Klitzman
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Mortal Secrets
By Robert Klitzman

Mortal Secrets

Truth and Lies in the Age of AIDS

By (author) See other recent books by Robert Klitzman See other recent books by Ronald Bayer
Format: Paperback

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Mortal Secrets by Robert Klitzman

Book Description

In the era of the Internet and Oprah, in which formerly taboo information is readily available or freely confided, secrecy and privacy have in many ways given way to an onslaught of confession. Yet for those who are HIV positive, decisions about disclosure of their diagnosis force them to confront intimate, fundamental, and rarely discussed questions about truth, lies, sex, and trust. Drawing from interviews with over seventy gay men and women, intravenous drug users, sex workers, bisexual men, and heterosexual men and women, the authors provide a detailed portrait of moral, social, and psychological decision making. The interviews convey the complex emotions of love, lust, longing, hope, despair, and fear that shape individual dilemmas about whether to disclose to, deceive, or trust others concerning this disease. Some of those interviewed revealed their diagnosis widely; others told no one. Some struggled and ultimately told their partners; others spoke in codes or half-truths. One woman discovered her husband's diagnosis in a diary; when confronted, he denied it. Each year in the United States, 40,000 new cases of HIV arise, yet approximately one-third of the 900,000 Americans who are infected do not know it. As treatments have improved, unsafe sexual behavior has increased and efforts at prevention have stalled. Many of those infected continue to fear and experience rejection and discrimination. Addressing broad debates about the nature of secrecy, morality, and silence, this book explores public policy questions in the light of the nuanced, private decisions that are shaping the course of an epidemic and have broader indications for all.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780801881916
ISBN-10: 0801881919
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 13mm)
Pages: 234
Imprint: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publish Date: 1-Feb-2005
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Robert Klitzman

Ethics Police? by Robert Klitzman Ethics Police?, Hardback (May 2015)

Studies on humans have saved countless lives, but sometimes harm participants. Research ethics committees currently monitor scientists, but have been increasingly criticized for blocking important research. How these committees work, however, is largely unknown. This book uniquely illuminates this hidden world that ultimately affects us all.

When Doctors Become Patients by Robert Klitzman When Doctors Become Patients, Hardback (December 2007)

This is the first book to look at the phenomenon of 'wounded healers': doctors who fall ill and become patients themselves. It weaves together intimate, personal interviews with health care providers who have fallen ill, to provide a rich portrait of the psychology of doctors, the nature of human illness, and the pitfalls of our health care system.

Being Positive by Robert Klitzman Being Positive, Hardback (August 1997)

The clearest picture we have of what life is like for men and women who have been diagnosed HIV positive, based upon unique in-depth interviews and remarkable for its candor. "An unforgettable picture of what extremity looks like and how it is dealt with."-Clifford Geertz.

» View all books by Robert Klitzman


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Author Biography - Robert Klitzman

Robert Klitzman, M.D., is an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and is codirector of the Center for Bioethics at Columbia University. He is the author of The Trembling Mountain: A Personal Account of Kuru, Cannibals and Mad Cow Disease (2001), In a House of Dreams and Glass: Becoming a Psychiatrist (1996), Being Positive: The Lives of Men and Women with HIV (1997), and A Year-long Night: Tales of a Medical Internship (1989).Ronald Bayer, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University's School of Public Health. He is the author of AIDS Doctors: Voices from the Epidemic(2000), and Private Acts, Social Consequences: AIDS and the Politics of Public Health (1989).

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Ethics Police? by Robert Klitzman
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