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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Enhancing sexual and reproductive health and well-being of young people: building common ground between the United Nations and faith-based development partners

    Adolescence is a time of great change and growth, when young people are negotiating a range of influences, including religious ones. Strategies, including work on sexual and reproductive health, which seek to support the wellbeing and dignity of adolescents and youth, need to give greater consideration to internal and external drivers of wellbeing generated by religion, spirituality and the work of faith-based organizations (FBOs). …

  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. Gender, peer and partner influences on adolescent HIV risk in rural South Africa

    In preparation for a school-based intervention in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, the authors conducted a cross-sectional survey of potential HIV risk factors in youth ages 14–17 (n=983). Boys were significantly more likely than girls to report lifetime sexual activity (37.7% v. 13.8%, P<0.01). Among boys and girls, 46.1% reported condom use at last sex. Discussion of condom use with a partner was the strongest predictor of condom use (boys, odds ratio (OR)=7.39; girls, OR=5.58, P<0.0001). …

  4. The protective role of religious coping in adolescents' responses to poverty and sexual decision-making in rural Kenya

    In this study, the authors explored how adolescents in rural Kenya apply religious coping in sexual decision-making in the context of high rates of poverty and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 34 adolescents. One-third (13) reported religious coping related to economic stress, HIV, or sexual decision-making; the majority (29) reported religious coping with these or other stressors. …

  5. Girls' schooling and the perceived threat of adolescent sexual activity in rural Malawi

    Despite its relative infrequency, pregnancy is perceived by parents in rural Malawi as a leading cause of school dropout among female students. This paper explores parents' beliefs about adolescent sexual activity and schoolgirl pregnancy and how these perceptions frame parents' aspirations and expectations about girls' schooling. In-depth interviews were collected in rural Malawi from 60 adults aged 25–50 who were the parent of at least one school-aged child. …

  6. 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. …

  7. Sexuality and religion

    Faith and religion can play very important roles in many young people’s lives; they can influence your choices, values and your way of life. Faith also helps you make choices about your sexuality, your relationships and your sexual and reproductive health. In this issue we also talk about the role of parents and give some tips on how to improve communication and resolve conflicts between parents and young people on sexual matters.

  8. 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.

  9. Evaluation of a theoretically based AIDS/STD peer education program on postponing sexual intercourse and on condom use among adolescents attending high school

    This study aimed to evaluate the theories of Ajzen (Planned Behavior) and Triandis (Interpersonal Behavior) on influencing 698 junior high school students and 306 senior high school students at two sites in Quebec, Canada. Baseline questionnaires were completed as well as at 9 months of follow-up. …

  10. Protective factors in the lives of bisexual adolescents in North America

    We compared protective factors among bisexual adolescents with those of heterosexual, mostly heterosexual, and gay or lesbian adolescents. Methods. We analyzed 6 school-based surveys in Minnesota and British Columbia. Sexual orientation was measured by gender of sexual partners, attraction, or self-labeling. Protective factors included family connectedness, school connectedness, and religious involvement. General linear models, conducted separately by gender and adjusted for age, tested differences between orientation groups. …

  11. Discovering the potential of girl guides: 12 peer education sessions

    The Kenya Girl Guides Association implements an integrated program on Life Skills and Peer Education in schools. Adult Guide Leaders conduct Life Skills sessions with Guides in Girl Guide Units in each participating school. Over the three terms or trimesters, 24 hours of sessions are held on 12 topics. The sessions help Girl Guides to learn about and explore the topics for themselves. Each Guide Unit has about 50 Girl Guides and four Patrol Leaders - an informed and sizeable group that can reach the rest of the school in a positive way. …

  12. Discovering the potential of girl guides in schools: a life skills curriculum for guide leaders

    From 1999 to 2006, Kenya Girl Guides Association received support from Family Health International (FHI) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to integrate HIV and AIDS prevention into more than 700 Guide Units in three regions: Coast, Rift Valley, and Western. From 2006 to 2009, KGGA will improve the Guide programme in the existing 366 schools and expand to more than 900 new schools (mostly at the primary level) in Coast and Rift Valley provinces, with support from FHI through the AIDS, Population, and Health Integrated Assistance (APHIA II) Program. …

  13. 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.

  14. Sexualidad en adolescentes seropositivos

    Descripción general de la situación de los adolescentes escolares que viven con VIH/sida en Chile y de como debieran recibir educación sexual. Además se citan casos de resistencia de diversos grupos a la educación sexual, sobre todo en el ámbito del placer y el uso del preservativo.

  15. Poor Parenting: Teenagers' Views on Adolescent Pregnancies in Eastern Uganda

    This qualitative study in Busia District focused on the views of teenagers themselves as expressed in nine focus group discussions with girls and boys. Their perspectives were contrasted with those of community leaders and mothers of adolescents. The young people blamed teenage pregnancy on failures of the parental generation. They asserted that parents and guardians were both too lenient and too harsh, that they failed to provide for their daughters' needs, and that they pressured them into early marriages instead of giving priority to education. …

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