Interview with Danielle, 18 - 19, Southern European, lower middle class. Women, Risk and AIDS Project, Manchester, 1989. Anonymised version (Ref: ALS18)
2020-03-04T11:08:41Z (GMT) by
This interview is part of the Women, Risk and Aids Project (1989-90) archive which was created as part of the Reanimating Data Project (2018-20).
Anonymised transcript of an interview with Danielle, who moved to Manchester from London two years ago and is at college. She moved to create distance between her and her family. Danielle's mother is Greek, and her father died when she was six, and she has grown up with a stepdad and half siblings - she considers her familial relationships to be important to her. There is some conflict between the Greek social norms inherited from her mother and those she has learnt from her upbringing in the UK - her mother left school at age thirteen so had little formal education and was expected to look after the home, but she would like Danielle to gain an education so as to not have to rely on anyone financially. Danielle would like a career in journalism, perhaps in women's magazines like Cosmo. Danielle went to an all girls' comprehensive school that was mixed in the fifth form. She remembers the Sex Education she received at school being largely biological, with a nervous teacher. Her mother did not provide any parental Sex Education. AIDS education was learnt through television programmes. Her friend discovered she was HIV positive after having intercourse with a bisexual man, which, at the time, furthered stigma around AIDS and homosexual men. Danielle's first experience of sexual intercourse was when she was fifteen, which she thought was consensual but that she didn't enjoy - she wasn't informed enough on the physical and emotional aspects of sex. In terms of contraception, she was using the pill, but not consistently enough to provide adequate protection, and decided to stop taking it due to the health risks involved. She would use a condom to protect herself against AIDS and would feel comfortable asking a male partner to use one. There was pressure from other girls at school not to be a virgin, but not to be a 'slag' either. She decided to abstain from sex for a while after her first experience, but felt confident to turn down sexual advances from male partners after this until she was ready to engage in sexual activity again.