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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. 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. …

  4. Perception of students’ teachers’ and parents’ towards sexuality education in Calabar south local government area of Cross River State, Nigeria

    This study was aimed at assessing the perception of students, teachers and perception in Calabar south local government area of Cross River State, Nigeria. A cross sectional survey was employed and a structured questionnaire was used to generate both qualitative and quantitative data from 850 respondents using the multi-stage stratified sampling technique. Most students were within the age bracket of 13-18 476 (95.2%), teachers were mostly within 25-29 years 54 (27.0%) and parents were mostly 40-44 years of age 22 (22.0%). …

  5. Conflicting discourses of church youths on masculinity and sexuality in the context of HIV in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

    Masculinity studies are fairly new and young churchgoers are an under-researched group in the current Congolese church context. In response to this knowledge gap, this paper attempts to explore discourses of young churchgoers from deprived areas of Kinshasa regarding masculinity and sexuality in the era of HIV. A series of 16 semi-structured interviews were conducted with unmarried young churchgoers from the Salvation Army, Protestant and Revival churches. The interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using discourse analysis. …

  6. 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. …

  7. Youth in a void: sexuality, HIV/AIDS and communication in Kenyan public schools

    The disappearance of traditional sex education during rites of passage in African societies has left many youth uncertain of where to look for information. Against this backcloth, the objectives of this study were to identify knowledge gaps amongst adolescents in Kenya regarding sexuality, HIV/AIDS and reproductive health. A thematic analysis was conducted of questions posed by 735 school youth aged 12–18 years from Meru and Kajiado Districts. Results show that many questions showed curiosity and anxiousness. …

  8. If you don't abstain, you will die of AIDS: AIDS education in Kenyan public schools

    We explored constraints of implementing AIDS education in public schools in Kenya. Sixty interviews with teachers and 60 focus group discussions with students were conducted in 21 primary and nine secondary schools. System/school-level constraints included lack of time in the curriculum, limited reach of secondary-school students (because AIDS education is embedded in biology, which is not compulsory), and disapproval of openness about sex and condoms by the Ministry of Education and parents. Alternative strategies to teach about AIDS had their own constraints. …

  9. Does Education Affect HIV Status? Evidence from five African Countries

    Data from the first five Demographic and Health Surveys to include HIV testing for a representative sample of the adult population are used to analyze the socioeconomic correlates of HIV infection and associated sexual behavior. Emerging from a wealth of country relevant results, some important findings can be generalized. First, successive marriages are a significant risk factor. Second, contrary to prima facie evidence, education is not positively associated with HIV status. …

  10. Evidence, politics and Uganda's HIV success: moving forward with ABC and HIV prevention

    Uganda’s HIV success story has become increasingly focused around the idea of ‘ABC’ (Abstain, Be faithful or use Condoms). During the George W. Bush administration, the US Government has promoted one specific ABC model for its development agencies, with a particular emphasis on abstinence. Yet other actors have contested this view. To understand Uganda’s success, it is imperative to look at what ABC was in Uganda when critical changes in behaviour were occurring. …

  11. 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. …

  12. The ABC's of HIV prevention: education in Uganda and Côte d'Ivoire

    Abstince-only education programs in the United States have been controversial since their inception in 1981 because of their lack of efficacy and because of the sexualities and behaviors that they promulgate. Barack Obama's 2010 budget eliminates federal funding for abstinence-only education programs in the US; however, the outline of his five-year strategy for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) does not indicate whether the US government will continue to mandate abstinence-only education in so-called "focus countries", primarily in sub-Saharan Africa. …

  13. 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. …

  14. 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. …

  15. School-Based Sexuality Education: The Issues and Challenges

    This article discusses the controversy and challenges that surrounded providing sex education in the U.S., including the Franklin Country (North Carolina) school board ordering the removal of textbook chapters dealing with sexual behavior, contraception, HIV/AIDs, and STIs from 9th graders health textbooks, and the state requirement to promote abstinence until marriage. It discusses the abstinence only movement and reviews efforts to undermine sexuality education dating back to the 1960s, while also providing the teachers' perspectives and difficulties faced. …

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