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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. 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. …

  6. 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%). …

  7. Sexual behavior among persons living with HIV in Uganda: Implications for policy and practice

    Introduction: HIV epidemics are sustained and propagated by new cases of infection which result from transmission from infected persons to uninfected susceptible individuals. People living with HIV (PLHIV) play a critical role in prevention if they adopt safer sexual behaviors. This study estimated the prevalence of and factors associated with safer sexual behaviors among PLHIV seeking care from civil society organizations (CSOs). …

  8. 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. …

  9. 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. …

  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. 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. …

  12. 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. …

  13. 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. …

  14. 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. …

  15. 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. …

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