|Author(s)||David Silverman, Anssi Peräkylä|
|Title||AIDS counselling: the interactional organisation of talk about ‘delicate issues’|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, AIDS, Councelling, Delicacy|
|Journal||Sociology of Health and Illness|
Although the AIDS pandemic has generated considerable social science research, the focus has almost entirely been on epidemiology and on survey research studies of health knowledge and behaviour. In contrast, this paper offers an early report on ongoing work into HIV and AIDS counselling as it occurs in practice in a number of English clinics. An analysis of transcripts of such naturally occurring encounters reveals how professionals and clients organise their talk in relation to the ‘delicate’ issues to be discussed. Particular attention is paid to the phenomenon of delay in the production of ‘delicate’ items and to the social organisation of the description of such items. Drawing, in part, on methods from conversation analysis, it is shown how a detailed analysis of how talk is produced in naturally occurring settings can generate findings relevant to professional practice.