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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Rethinking sexual agency: proposing a multicomponent model based on young people’s life stories

    Sexual health policies explicitly aim to encourage young people to take responsibility for their sexuality to prevent adverse outcomes such as unintended pregnancies, STIs and sexual assault. In Europe and North America, ‘choice’ has become a central concept in sexual and reproductive health policy making. However, the concept of choice is not unproblematic, not least because the cultural emphasis on individual responsibility obscures structural limitations and inequalities, and mutual responsibility between partners. …

  2. Education, HIV, and early fertility: experimental evidence from Kenya

    A seven-year randomized evaluation suggests education subsidies reduce adolescent girls’ dropout, pregnancy, and marriage but not sexually transmitted infection (STI). The government’s HIV curriculum, which stresses abstinence until marriage, does not reduce pregnancy or STI. Both programs combined reduce STI more, but cut dropout and pregnancy less, than education subsidies alone. …

  3. A farewell to abstinence and fidelity? Comment

    Sex has regularly proven to be a polarising issue for the UN Member States, and the 2016 High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS on June 8–10 was no exception. The Political Declaration adopted at the meeting addresses the sexual health needs of young people (15–24 years), including adolescents (11–19 years). 2000 new HIV infections occur among young people every day. HIV is the leading cause of death among adolescents in Africa, and the second-highest cause of death worldwide in this age group. …

  4. Interventions to prevent sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, among young people in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review of the published and gray literature

    Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, are prevalent among adolescents and can have lasting adverse health consequences. The objective of this review is to identify high-quality interventions and evaluations to decrease STI transmission and related risky behaviors among young people in low- and middle-income countries. PubMed, Embase, PsycInfo, Cinahl Plus, Popline, and the Cochrane Databases were searched without language limitations for articles published through November 2015. Gray literature was searched by hand. …

  5. What works 2011-2012: Curriculum-based programs that help prevent teen pregnancy

    What programs delay sexual initiation, improve contraceptive use among sexually active teens, and/or prevent teen pregnancy? Over the years, The National Campaign has produced and disseminated a number of detailed reports and publications designed to answer this question. Here, in shorthand form, is an overview of what is known about carefully evaluated interventions that help delay sex, improve contraceptive use, and/or prevent teen pregnancy.

  6. Behaviour change communication strategies for preventing adolescent pregnancy sourcebook

    More than ever, adolescents need help, guidance, and empowerment. This is the main purpose for which the Department of Health invested in the project: “Development of Behavior Change Communication (BCC) Strategy for Adolescent Pregnancy.” This initiative essentially aims to contribute to the promotion of positive and healthy behaviors that enable adolescents to avoid too early and unintended pregnancy. This initiative is an integral part of the Adolescent and Youth Health and Development (AYHD) Program of the Department of Health. …

  7. Invited commentary: Broadening the evidence for adolescent sexual and reproductive health and education in the United States

    Scientific research has made major contributions to adolescent health by providing insights into factors that influence it and by defining ways to improve it. However, US adolescent sexual and reproductive health policies-particularly sexuality health education policies and programs-have not benefited from the full scope of scientific understanding. From 1998 to 2009, federal funding for sexuality education focused almost exclusively on ineffective and scientifically inaccurate abstinence-only-until-marriage (AOUM) programs. …

  8. Adapting a multifaceted U.S. HIV prevention education program for girls in Ghana

    We adapted a U.S. HIV prevention program to address knowledge gaps and cultural pressures that increase the risk of infection in adolescent Ghanaian girls. The theory-based nine-module HIV prevention program combines didactics and games, an interactive computer program about sugar daddies, and tie-and-dye training to demonstrate an economic alternative to transactional sex. The abstinence-based study was conducted in a church-affiliated junior secondary school in Nsawam, Ghana. Of 61 subjects aged 10-14 in the prevention program, over two thirds were very worried about becoming HIV infected. …

  9. Education, HIV, and early fertility: experimental evidence from Kenya

    We provide experimental evidence on the relationships between education, HIV/AIDS education, risky behavior and early fertility in Kenya. We exploit randomly assigned variation in the cost of schooling and in exposure to the national HIV/AIDS prevention curriculum for a cohort of over 19,000 adolescents in Western Kenya, originally aged 13.5 on average. We collected data on the schooling, marriage, and fertility out-comes of these students over 7 years, and tested them for HIV and Herpes (HSV2) after 7 years. …

  10. Impact of a School-based Peer Sexual Health Intervention on Normative Beliefs, Risk Perceptions, and Sexual Behavior of Zambian Adolescents

    To determine whether adolescents’ normative beliefs about abstinence and condoms, their personal risk perception, and safer sex practices changed after the implementation of a peer sexual health education intervention implemented in Zambian secondary schools.

  11. Efficacy of a theory-based abstinence-only intervention over 24 months: A randomized controlled trial with young adolescents

    Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of an abstinence-only intervention in preventing sexual involvement in young adolescents. Design:Randomized controlled trial. Setting: Urban public schools. Participants:A total of 662 African American students in grades 6 and 7. …

  12. Consequences of sex education on teen and young adult sexual behaviors and outcomes

    This study examined whether formal sex education is associated with sexual health behaviors and outcomes using recent nationally representative survey data. Data used were from 4,691 male and female individuals aged 15–24 years from the 2006–2008 National Survey of Family Growth. Receipt of sex education, regardless of type, was associated with delays in first sex for both genders, as compared with receiving no sex education. …

  13. Community-level successes and challenges to implementing adolescent sex education programs

    Best practices for adolescent sex education recommend science-based approaches. However, little is known about the capacity and needs of organizations who implement sex education programs on the local level. The purpose of this research was to describe successes and challenges of community organizations in implementing science-based sex education. Using qualitative methods, we interviewed program directors and educators in 17 state funded adolescent pregnancy prevention/sex education programs as part of a larger mixed methods evaluation. …

  14. Young people's perspectives on the adoption of preventive measures for HIV/AIDS, malaria and family planning in South-West Uganda: focus group study

    The aim of the study was to explore young people's understanding and knowledge about why protective measures against HIV/AIDS, malaria and unplanned pregnancy are not taken by those at risk in Uganda. The study results were that the participants (all from secondary school in Kanungu Uganda) could identify reasons why preventive action was not taken. These reasons included misconceptions, the inpracticability of abstinence, and fear of side effects of several key interventions. The article argues that there is an apportunity to improve preventive measures by tackling these issues. …

  15. Mother-daughter communication about sexual maturation, abstinence and unintended pregnancy: Experiences form an informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya

    Parental communication and support is associated with improved developmental, health and behavioral outcomes in adolescence. This study explores the quality of mother-daughter communication about sexual maturation, abstinence and unintended pregnancy in Korogocho, an informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya. We use data from 14 focus group discussions (n = 124) and 25 interviews with girls aged 12-17, mothers of teenage girls, and key informant teachers. …

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