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Interview with Valerie, 16, White British, working class, Roman Catholic. Women, Risk and AIDS Project, Manchester, 1989. Original version including fieldnotes (Ref: AYC21)

posted on 04.03.2020, 11:03 by Rachel Thomson
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).

Original transcript of an interview with Valerie, 16, who is working as a sales assistant through a YTS. She found college incredibly dull and monotonous, but would like to retrain as an air hostess when she's 18. Her school provided sex education through PSE lessons, in mixed sex groups, covering AIDS, contraception and heterosexual relationships, but they had not talked about STI's - she doesn't seem too worried about them. She also acknowledges sex and relationships information she gained through friends and her parents, who are both quite open. AIDS education through school covered AIDS transmission, and she learnt to use condoms and not share needles to protect against AIDS. She had seen some of the TV programmes about AIDS, which she thinks weren't too serious, but showed changing attitudes around women's sexuality and condom use. Attitudes towards virginity and pressure at her school are varied, and seems to be linked with popularity or status within peer groups. She is having sex with her current partner, who is the only person she has slept with. They use condoms, but to protect against pregnancy rather than AIDS. Her boyfriend doesn't like using condoms, and she is considering using the pill instead - she would go to her doctor rather than a family planning clinic, as it would offer more privacy. She considers condom use to be both her and a partner's responsibility, but would not feel comfortable carrying her own condoms in the future for casual sexual encounters. Valerie doesn't think she is at risk of AIDS, as she isn't aware of anyone she knows having contracted it, but if she did then this would change her view on risk.





Greater Manchester, UK








Women, Risk and Aids Project (WRAP, 1989-90)


The Reanimating Data Project (2018-20)