Sex, Work and Professionalism – Working in HIV/Aids

By Kate Deverell.
ISBN 0 415 23321 6

Professionalism and boundaries will be familiar issues to those
working in health and social care. Kate Deverell presents an
in-depth fieldwork study of outreach workers involved in HIV
prevention with gay and bisexual men, and explores the difficult
area where sexuality interacts with professional identities.

The first chapter sets out the theoretical basis of the study in a
review of the sociological debates about sex, work and
professionalism. This is followed by a reflexive examination of the
methodology and a look at the development of HIV prevention
initiatives in the UK.

The original findings of the study are weaved into the next four
chapters, which explore why boundaries are important and how they
are constructed. It examines the tensions that exist when the
domains of work and personal life are not easily separated, and
highlights how professionalism can be seen as an identity rather
than a set of job attributes. The concluding chapter examines the
relevance of the research findings to other occupations and builds
on wider theoretical debates about professionalism.

This book will be of particular relevance to those involved in HIV
services and to those with an interest in professional

Gareth Owen is an HIV social worker, Hammersmith and Fulham

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