Interview with Paula, 20, White British, upper working class. Women, Risk and AIDS Project, Manchester, 1989. Anonymised version (Ref: WP101)
Anonymised transcript of an interview with Paula, 20, who works in Manchester. Interviewee works as a sound engineer and loves her job. Has bought a house with support from her mum and has a friend who is her lodger. Has good family relationships. Had ‘very little’ sex education at her comprehensive school in biology lessons and religious education. Learnt about contraception through conversations with girlfriends and from a book her mum gave her aged 13/14. First learnt about AIDS from seeing Rock Hudson on television and then more from television programmes and leaflets posted through the door. No education about AIDS through work or the union. HIV tests are not offered at work but she thinks that you could get support to have one through approaching the nurse at work. Worries about AIDS but doesn’t feel like she is at risk. Doesn’t see herself as someone who tasks lots of risks with sex, or in other areas of her life.
In a two year relationship with someone. Likes to think she would ask someone to use a condom if she had sex with someone else but is unsure. Thinks the idea of condoms is ‘awful’ and wouldn’t carry them as she wouldn’t want to signal that she was going out with the intention of having sex. Doesn’t think she would ask someone to take an HIV test before having sex and would be insulted if someone asked her to do this. Discusses the difficulty of assessing whether a potential partner has HIV or not and that you can’t always trust what a partner tells you.

Had sex with 3 or 4 people when she was younger and was disappointed by it. Talked about pleasure with friends but didn’t experience it until she met her current partner who she feels confident with and can talk about sex. Her and her partner both see other people but only have sex with each other. Interviewee takes the pill and is happy with it. Wouldn’t have an abortion if she got pregnant.

Discusses some AIDS awareness campaigns and her responses to them and her views on being sexually ‘permissive’, which she doesn’t agree with morally, particularly for women.
Women, Risk and AIDS Project (WRAP, 1989-90)
The Reanimating Data Project (2018-20)
Temporal Coverage
Spatial Coverage
Greater Manchester
CC BY-NC. 4.0

Item sets