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You're the First One I've Told

The Faces of HIV in the Deep South
Kathryn Whetten-Goldstein (Author), Brian Wells Pence (Author)
Second Edition, Revised
272 pages, 8 figures, 1 map, 6 x 9
Paper, March 2013 $28.95   ADD TO CART
Cloth, March 2013 $75.00   ADD TO CART
Web PDF, March 2013 $28.95   EBOOK VERSION AVAILABLE
epub, March 2013 $25.95   EBOOK VERSION AVAILABLE
Subject Area:
Health and Medicine, History: Medicine and Nursing, African American Studies, Sociology


The Deep South has seen a 36 percent increase in AIDS cases while the rest of the nation has seen a 2 percent decline. Many of the underlying reasons for the disease’s continued spread in the region—ignorance about HIV, reluctance to get tested, non-adherence to treatment protocols, resistance to behavioral changes—remain unaddressed by policymakers.

In this extensively revised second edition, Kathryn Whetten and Brian Wells Pence present a rich discussion of twenty-five ethnographic life stories of people living with HIV in the South. Most importantly, they incorporate research from their recent quantitative study, “Coping with HIV/AIDS in the Southeast” (CHASE), which includes 611 HIV-positive patients from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana. This new edition continues to bring the participants’ voices to life while highlighting how the CHASE study confirmed many of the themes that originally emerged from the life histories. This is the first cohesive compilation of up-to-date evidence on the unique and difficult aspects of living with HIV in the Deep South.


"The South has been the epicenter of the U.S. HIV epidemic for the last decade, and the authors have used a balanced set of information from both surveys and personal observations to present a poignant and accessible portrait of the complexities of human health and disease."
—John A. Bartlett, MD, Duke Global Health Institute

"Expertly linking patients’ pasts to their current struggles to obtain health care and support, the stories related here contextualize AIDS within the lived experiences of the poor and marginalized communities that bear the greatest burden of HIV in the American South. This book offers indispensable insight into the ways that large-scale social forces shape the lives of those facing AIDS."
—Paul Farmer, Kolokotrones University Professor, Harvard University

Author / Editor Bio

KATHRYN WHETTEN, MPH, PhD, is a professor of public policy and global health at Duke University and the director of the Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research. She is the author of Drinkers, Drivers, and Bartenders: Balancing Private Choice and Public Accountability.

BRIAN W. PENCE, MPH, PhD, is an associate professor of community and family medicine and global health at Duke University’s Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research.

Table Of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Preface to the Second Edition

1. Setting the Stage
2. Voices of the Past
3. Enter HIV
4. Abuse, Trauma, and HIV
5. Distrust, Conspiracy, Confidentiality, and Provider Relationships
6. Benefit Systems
7. The Importance of Children
8. Sex, Love, Family, and Other Support
9. Theoretical Framework
10. The Future

Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Read by Interviewer to Respondent


Framing Fat
Samantha Kwan, Jennifer Graves
Black Resonance
Emily J. Lordi
America's Healthcare Transformation
Robert A. Phillips
Origins of Psychopathology
Horacio Jr. Fábrega Jr.