Interview with Gina, 20 - 21, White British, working class, Roman Catholic. Women, Risk and AIDS Project, Manchester, 1989. Anonymised version (Ref: NUR19)
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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 Gina, who is training to be a nurse. She is a practicing Catholic, but does not feel her religious values impact her sexuality. Gina has had sexual relationships, and her first intercourse was with her boyfriend at age 15, which she felt a little bit pressured into. She felt some guilt toward this afterwards, mostly because sex before marriage goes against Catholic beliefs. They had been engaged to be married, but conflicting religious views between their families (he is a Jehovah's Witness) complicated their relationship. She has become much more aware of her own sexual pleasure in more recent relationships, but thought she would feel more in control when having more sexual experience than her partner - this is not the case at the moment, as she struggles with negotiating 'backlash' when declining her partner's sexual advances. She has used condoms inconsistently, and had been using the pill as her main method of contraception - she had considered the coil, but decided against it due to the risks involved. Gina had been quite worried when she first heard about AIDS, but did not consider herself as at risk and acknowledges herself as 'one of the million ignorant ones'. She had learnt about AIDS through television programmes, but thinks there is not enough attention about it in mainstream medias now. There has been no formal teaching on AIDS within her nursing training. Safe sex in the context of AIDS is recognised by Gina as using condoms, though she wouldn't carry her own as she feels there is stigma around promiscuity attached to them. Kids are on her agenda in the future, but she would like to establish her own career first. She isn't too interested in casual sex or one-night stands, but thinks this is largely due to her lack of body confidence. Risk is talked about through recreational activities, such as smoking, drinking and dieting.