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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Charting the future: empowering girls to prevent early pregnancy

    This report begins with a situation analysis of adolescent pregnancy (Section 2), highlighting where today’s adolescents live and where their fertility levels are highest, as well as looking at the drivers of their fertility rates. Section 3 provides a more detailed discussion of the multiple barriers that girls face in controlling their fertility. Section 4 presents our conclusions about the main drivers of adolescent pregnancy and introduces our policy and programming recommendations, which can be found in Section 5. …

  2. 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. …

  3. Efficacy of an American alcohol and hiv prevention curriculum adapted for use in South Africa: results of a pilot study in five township schools

    The high prevalence of HIV among young people in African countries underscores a pressing need for effective prevention interventions. Adapting school–based prevention programs developed in the United States for use in African schools may present an alternative to the time–consuming process of developing home–grown programs. The researchers report the results of a pretest–posttest field trial of an alcohol/ HIV prevention curriculum adapted from an American model and delivered to ninth-grade students in five South African township schools. …

  4. Customary adolescent sexual practices among the Akha of northern Lao PDR: considerations for public health

    Based on interviews and focus group discussions conducted in northern Laos, this study explores Akha understandings of customary first pre-pubertal sex acts, a thonh thong (‘break through vagina’ [BV]) for girls and yaha heu (‘open foreskin’ [OF]) for boys, which are thought to enable the maturing of bodies into adulthood. The study also examines the practice of a thor ta yang (‘Welcome Guest’) in which sexually initiated girls have sex with male visitors to Akha villages. The study found that many young women experience BV as painful and traumatic. …

  5. Sexuality education approaches: what would be applicable to North of Africa and Middle East?

    In this paper, Middle East and North of Africa are not presented from demographic dimension, rather from cultural one, where the most dominant religion is is Islam. Consequently, the paper will discuss applicability of sex education approaches from Islamic perspectives but within the Middle East and North of Africa context.

  6. Indigenous knowledge of HIV/AIDS among High School students in Namibia

    The study explored the indigenous names for HIV/AIDS and its symptoms. Qualitative data was gathered through focus groups with students from 18 secondary schools across six educational districts. People living with HIV/AIDS were called names meaning prostitute: ihule, butuku bwa sihule, and shikumbu. Names such askibutu bwa masapo (bone disease),katjumba (a young child), kakithi (disease), and shinangele (very thin person) described AIDS. Derogatory names like mbwa (dog), esingahogo (pretender), ekifi (disease), and shinyakwi noyana (useless person) were also used. …

  7. Young people's understanding of HIV: a qualitative study among school students in Mankweng, South Africa

    This article describes young people's interpretation of HIV, AIDS and sexually transmitted illness in a rural South African community in Mankweng, Limpopo Province. Method: The study was based on 19 focus group discussions with adolescents aged 12-14 years. Results: Our participants had limited knowledge about HIV from a biomedical perspective. Their understanding and interpretations of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases were largely informed by traditional and religious belief systems that explain how and why people contract an illness via sexual intercourse. …

  8. I am not "umqwayito'': a qualitative study of peer pressure and sexual risk behaviour among young adolescents in Cape Town, South Africa

    Young people in South Africa are susceptible to HIV infection. They are vulnerable to peer pressure to have sex, but little is known about how peer pressure operates. The aim of the study was to understand how negative peer pressure increases high risk sexual behaviour among young adolescents in Cape Town, South Africa. Qualitative research methods were used. Eight focus groups were conducted with young people between the ages of 13 and 14 years. …

  9. Report of the expert group consultation on the cultural relevance of adolescence education

    The Adolescence Education Programme (AEP) was launched in 2005 as a response to the needs of adolescents by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), in collaboration with the National AIDS Control Organization, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, to be implemented in all the state government schools in the country. Concurrently, a separate programme supported by MHRD and UNFPA is also being implemented by key national agencies of school education. …

  10. The sexual and reproductive health of younger adolescents. Research issues in developing countries

    This paper reviews quantitative and qualitative evidence on adolescents' sexual and reproductive health from a number of developing countries and, where possible, highlights findings for boys and girls aged under 15 years in those studies where findings are disaggregated by age and sex (which is not always the case). The evidence is sporadic, however, and is by no means representative of all developing countries. …

  11. The Girl Effect: What Do Boys Have to Do with It?

    This paper argues for a gender and developmental perspective to explore "what boys have to do with the 'girl effect'." This approach seeks to combine the lenses of gender and developmental psychology to better understand gendered behavior in adolescents over their life cycle, with a focus on adolescence (generally defined as ages 10 to 19) in order to develop programs and undertake policy efforts to promote equitable and healthy gender identities and norms with benefits for both girls and boys in a gender relational perspective.

  12. You still need to give her a token of appreciation: the meaning of the exchange of money in the sexual relationships of out-of-school adolescents in rural southwest Uganda

    This article challenges the pervasive assumption that exchanging gifts and money in adolescent sexual relationships is transactional. Data were derived from a multi-method, qualitative sexual health needs assessment of 31 out-of-school adolescents in rural southwest Uganda. Grounded theory analysis allows contextual meanings of exchange to emerge. Adolescents have developed gendered courting and exchange models that parallel marital relationships in this cultural context. …

  13. Reproductive Health of Arab Young People

    Reproductive Health of Arab Young People is a short article written by J. DeJong of the Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, and G- El-Khoury of Unicef Middle East and North Africa Region from Amman, Jordan, in 2006. It presents the current situation in the Arab region regarding sexual and reproductive services and information. It shows that cultural taboos are still limiting young people's access, especially for those unmarried, to integrated health services including contraception for sexually active adolescents and health education. …

  14. Adolescent and Youth Reproductive Health in Morocco. Status, Issues, Policies, and Programs

    Adolescent and Youth Reproductive Health in Morocco. Status, Issues, Policies, and Programs is a report written by J. Beamish and L.T. Abderrazik for the POLICY Project, on behalf of the Asia/Near East Bureau of USAID. It aims to highlight the reproductive health status of adolescents in Morocco, within the context of the adolescent boys and girls. …

  15. Meeting the HIV prevention needs of young people in Asia: the need for an integrated approach

    This report documents the key issues discussed and the conclusions reached at the UNAIDS Inter-Agency Task Team Symposium on "Meeting the HIV prevention needs of young people in Asia: The need for an integrated approach". The Symposium took place in Chiang Mai, Thailand on 24 April 2008 and was hosted by the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This was the first IATT on Education Symposium to take place in the Asia-Pacific region. …

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