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Assassins on the Loose?

Danielle Toppin explores an HIV prevention strategy proposed by Dr. Ray Noel, HIV Specialist for the Tobago Health Promotion Clinic, in an article in the Trinidadian newspaper The Sunday Guardian.

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“It’s Your Wicket, Protect It!”

The National HIV/AIDS Commission of Barbados launched a prevention campaign consisting of public service announcements that draw on one of the Caribbean's core cultural elements: cricket.

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The British Virgin Islands: HIV Profile

Danielle Toppin travels to the British Virgin Islands to meet with local HIV/AIDS officials and begin to gauge what HIV/AIDS looks like there.

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Putting the Cart Before the Horse

Danielle Toppin offers suggestions to improve a pilot survey in the Caribbean that fell short of reaching a wide number of people in groups vulnerable to HIV.

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Lost in Translation

Jamaica has put measures in place to support the Convention on the Rights of the Child and protect children from sexual abuse, but cultural issues must be addressed in addition to legal reform.

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Gender Dynamics of Reproductive Health Policies

In the area of reproductive and sexual health, accommodations must be made to take account of the impact of gender socialisation and the ways in which it shapes the sexual identities.

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Children and Commercial Sex Work

Children's participation in commercial sex work brings with it some particularly troublesome concerns in the areas of sexual and reproductive health. There is an urgent need for programmes and policies that meet the needs of this vulnerable group.

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Changing Views on Adolescent Sexuality

In the Caribbean, views are slowly changing from conservative attitudes to more positive understanding of healthy adolescent sexuality. Educating teenagers honestly will empower them to make wise decisions.

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Becoming a Woman through Motherhood

Editor's Note: Today we welcome Danielle Toppin, writing from Jamaica. She has experience with gender and development, and will be covering reproductive health issues in the Caribbean and Latin America.

On November 4, 2004, I discovered that I was pregnant. In that moment, my life began to change. The ways in which I saw myself; and in which society perceived me shifted. It was as though I had finally fulfilled my role as a woman. I had proven my worthiness.

In the Caribbean context, ideas of motherhood are inextricably linked with ideas of womanhood. In Barbados, meanings are attached to fertile and infertile female bodies; with value being attached to those women who reproduce, and withheld from those women who, either by choice or by nature, do not. Mothering has become synonymous with "becoming a woman", achieving an almost mythical status as the natural path that women's lives should take.

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