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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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. …

  2. 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. …

  3. 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. …

  4. 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. …

  5. The impact of abstinence and comprehensive sex and STD/HIV education programs on adolescent sexual behavior

    In an effort to reduce unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease (STD) in adolescents, both abstinence and comprehensive sex and STD/HIV education programs have been proffered. Based on specified criteria, the author searched for and reviewed 56 studies that assessed the impact of such curricula (8 that evaluated 9 abstinence programs and 48 that evaluated comprehensive programs) on adolescents’ sexual behavior. Study results indicated that most abstinence programs did not delay initiation of sex and only 3 of 9 had any significant positive effects on any sexual behavior. …

  6. Do teenagers respond to HIV risk information? Evidence from a field experiment in Kenya

    We use a randomized experiment to test whether and what information changes teenagers' sexual behavior in Kenya. Providing information on the relative risk of HIV infection by partner's age led to a 28 percent decrease in teen pregnancy, an objective proxy for the incidence of unprotected sex. Self-reported sexual behavior data suggests substitution away from older (riskier) partners and toward same-age partners. In contrast, the official abstinence-only HIV curriculum had no impact on teen pregnancy. …

  7. Increased sexual abstinence among in-school adolescents as a result of school health education in Soroti district, Uganda

    A health education program conducted in primary schools in Soroti district, Uganda promoted increased access to information, better peer interactions and better quality of the health education system. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among students in their final year of primary school (average age 14 years) at baseline and two years after introduction of the intervention. The percentage of sexually active students decreased from 42.9% (123 out of 287) to 11.1% (31 out of 280) in the intervention arm, while no changes were observed in the control arm. …

  8. Sexually Active Adolescents have Less Knowledge and Less Fear of HIV than their Abstinent Peers

    A study in four districts of Rhode Island (USA) of 1,379 junior high school students (average age 13.2 years) found that sexually active boys were less knowledgeable about HIV, less tolerant of people living with AIDS, less fearful of contraction of HIV and more likely to undertake risky behavior, than those who were not sexually active. The same pattern, although less extreme, is found among girls in the sample. …

  9. Sociodemographic variations in communication on sexuality and HIV/AIDS with parents, family members and teachers among in-school adolescents: a multi-site study in Tanzania and South Africa

    This paper aims to identify with whom in-school adolescents preferred to communicate about sexuality, and to study adolescents' communication on HIV/AIDS, abstinence and condoms with parents/guardians, other adult family members, and teachers. Data were obtained from a baseline questionnaire survey carried out in South Africa (Cape Town and Mankweng) and Tanzania (Dar es Salaam) in early 2004. We analysed data for 14,944 adolescents from 80 randomly selected schools. The mean ages were as follows: CapeTown, 13.38 years (standard deviation (SD). …

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