Who Will Catch Me If I Fall? Health and the Infrastructure of Risk for Urban Young Iranians

Pards Mahdavi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter provides an anthropological survey of high-risk behavior among the contemporary Iranian youth, focusing on high-risk sexual activity and opiate use. It argues that while preliminary statistics show a rising HIV and drug problem, little is known about the settings and motivations behind such initiations into high-risk practices by urban Iranian youth. Through qualitative and ethnographic research, the chapter throws much light on the circumstances, networks, social environments, and motivations surrounding these initiation events. Moreover, it assesses the level of knowledge of highrisk behavior among the youth (e.g., knowledge of transmission of HIV or sterile injection paraphernalia). The findings of this research will be particularly beneficial to the development of educational materials with regard to sex, HIV/AIDS, and the risk reduction campaign in Iran.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationContemporary Iran
Subtitle of host publicationEconomy, Society, Politics
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199852345
ISBN (Print)9780195378481
StatePublished - Oct 3 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Drug use
  • HIV
  • High-risk behavior
  • Iranian youth
  • Sexual activity
  • Sexual behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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