In Her Hands examines the various strategies women have utilized to fight for recognition as individuals vulnerable to and living with HIV/AIDS across multiple settings since the 1980s. Taking a new chronological and thematic approach to the study of the US epidemic, it explores five arenas of women’s AIDS activism: transmission and recognition, reproductive justice, safer sex campaigns for queer women, the carceral state, and HIV prevention and treatment. In so doing, it moves the historical understanding of women’s experiences of AIDS beyond their exclusion from the initial medical response and the role women played as the supporters of gay men. Asking how and on what terms women succeeded in securing state support, In Her Hands argues that women protesting the neglect of their health-care needs always risked encountering punitive intervention on behalf of the symbolic needs of fetuses and children – as well as wider society – deemed to need protecting from them.
In Her Hands Women's Fight against AIDS in the United States
About the Book
Reviews"In Her Hands is outstanding in its research and widely contributes to several fields—ranging from the history of social movements to women's health and incarceration—which makes it exciting and significant."—Leslie J. Reagan, author of When Abortion Was a Crime: Women, Medicine, and Law in the United States, 1867–1973
"This beautifully researched study is a major intervention in US gender history, sexuality studies, and the history of health-care activism. Emma Day examines the multiple ways in which women in the US have responded to the AIDS crisis since the 1980s. Her analysis of the gendered politics of transmission and recognition, reproductive rights, lesbian organizing, incarceration, and health-care access provides new insights into both the HIV crisis and women's-rights movements."—Jonathan Bell, Professor of US History, University College London
"Day's important history examines how intersecting oppressions have shaped women's experiences of AIDS, placing them at increased risk, under surveillance, and without access to affordable and effective methods of preventing HIV infection. Day expertly reveals how this has contributed to the wider unraveling of reproductive rights, and by demonstrating the role of poverty, prisons, and intimate partners in the ongoing pandemic, powerfully reminds us of the devastating impact of inequality on health."—Manon S. Parry, author of Broadcasting Birth Control: Mass Media and Family Planning