Damaged Goods?

Adina Nack Cover PhotoHow do women living with genital herpes, genital warts, and HPV infections see themselves as sexual beings? How are their lives changed? Dr. Adina Nack, a medical sociologist specializing in sexual health and social psychology, conducted in-depth interviews with 43 infected women about topics that are all too little discussed, even as news circulates about GARDASIL and other STD vaccines. The result is a fascinating and important book about issues affecting millions in the U.S. and around the world. From the anxiety of being diagnosed to issues of blame and shame, Dr. Nack reveals how these medically incurable but treatable infections can transform women's sexual selves. She examines the gendered stigma of these illnesses while uncovering the physical, moral and social consequences. Damaged Goods adds to our knowledge of how individuals -- especially women -- are affected by living with chronic STDs. Nack, herself diagnosed with a cervical HPV infection, shows why these women may feel that they are "damaged goods" and question their abilities to find love, have intimate relationships, and give birth to healthy children. She also explains the ways in which many of the women experience their diagnoses as catalysts for positive change.

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