This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in subsequent chapters of this book. The book addresses women and AIDS from a communication perspective, although others have explored HIV/AIDS and communication in general. It addresses the issues related to women's negotiation of safer sexual and IV drug use practices with partners and potential partners. The chapter uses the term "negotiation" in its most common sense: "to deal or bargain with others". Cultural constructions of sex and drug-sharing relationships are explored in a variety of communities. The book extends the meaning of negotiation to include the sense of "moving through or around", in reference to the US health care system. It investigates HIV-positive incarcerated women's encounters with prison health care, women's experiences as HIV medical study staff and patients, and women's processes as carers for HIV-positive patients. The book explores how women use the media for HIV-related social action, to promote women's views of HIV and sexuality.