Narrative futures

Narrative and social change

How dare you

‘Narratives, connections and social change’, in Narrative Inquiry:

Living with HIV and ARVs: Three letter lives

To buy this book at 30% discount, use this flier: Living with HIV and ARVs discount flier, valid till end 2015

A taster: the first chapter: Why the three letters matterf

Living with HIV and ARV – SA report

Living with HIV and ARVs – the UK study

Cover image

(Many thanks to the Bambanani Women’s Group, Cape Town, South Africa, for permission to use this image)

This book gives an account of the new possibilities and difficulties of long-term living with HIV and antiretroviral treatment. It takes an international perspective, looking at commonalities and differences across high and middle-income countries. The book draws on narrative data collected over a long period in the UK and South Africa. Analysing these stories, it argues that the HIV pandemic still presents highly particular issues that we need to address. The book suggests that HIV’s present ‘naturalized’ incorporation into policy and everyday life is incomplete and difficult. It describes the medicalization, normalization and marketization processes that characterize current political, policy and popular approaches to HIV, and argues that these processes often fail or are resisted by people living with HIV. Finally, it describes people living with HIV’s own new narrative strategies for constructing, protecting and extending their HIV citizenship

Corinne Squire is Professor of Social Sciences and Co-Director, Centre for Narrative Research, University of East London, UK. Her research interests are in HIV and citizenship, subjectivities and culture, and narrative research. Her publications include HIV in South Africa: HIV technologies in international perspective (with Davis) and Doing Narrative Research (with Andrews and Tamboukou).


“Squire’s path-breaking study of the possibilities and difficulties facing people on ART in Europe and Africa consolidates her status as an international leader in academic and policy debates. It poses a stark challenge to the growing swell of glib claims that the problem of HIV/AIDS has been ‘solved’ by the advent of drug treatments.” – Catherine Campbell, Professor of Social Psychology, London School of Economics, UK

“AIDS and HIV have been around now for over 30 years; we have moved from a time of crisis and fear to a time of the routine and normal. In this challenging study Corinne Squire develops her earlier ground breaking comparative research into HIV in South Africa by updating and contrasting it with interviews in the UK. With clarity, compassion and narrative empathy, she leads us into the fragile worlds of those continuing their daily struggles of living with HIV. Theoretically sophisticated, politically informed and engagingly written, this informative and insightful book is a must read for all those concerned with HIV issues.”- Ken Plummer, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Essex, UK

“Professor Squire examines the concrete effects of the current ‘optimism’ about ending the AIDS epidemic. Using narrative analysis of persons living with HIV in two communities she has worked within for more than two decades, Squire shows the dissonance between public representation of the ‘naturalness’ of HIV and lived experience of those who live ‘three letter lives’ of increasingly intensified medicalization. As with her earlier works, this is a ‘must read’ for public health officials and critical social scientists involved in the current debates about the value and feasibility of ‘treatment as prevention.'” – Cindy Patton, Professor of Sociology, Simon Fraser University, Canada.

Here’s an interview about the book at CIGI:

…and a recent presentation about it, available as a podcast, from the CAHR conference, 2014:

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