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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Interventions for adolescent substance abuse: an overview of systematic reviews

    Many unhealthy behaviors often begin during adolescence and represent major public health challenges. Substance abuse has a major impact on individuals, families, and communities, as its effects are cumulative, contributing to costly social, physical, and mental health problems. The authors conducted an overview of systematic reviews to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions to prevent substance abuse among adolescents. They report findings from a total of 46 systematic reviews focusing on interventions for smoking/tobacco use, alcohol use, drug use, and combined substance abuse. …

  2. Building the foundations for sustainable development: a case for global investment in the capabilities of adolescents

    Investment in the capabilities of the world's 1·2 billion adolescents is vital to the UN's Sustainable Development Agenda. The study examined investments in countries of low income, lower-middle income, and upper-middle income covering the majority of these adolescents globally to derive estimates of investment returns given existing knowledge. Investments in health and education will not only transform the lives of adolescents in resource-poor settings, but will also generate high economic and social returns. These returns were robust to substantial variation in assumptions. …

  3. Mapping the knowledge and understanding of menarche, menstrual hygiene and menstrual health among adolescent girls in low- and middle-income countries

    This paper maps the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices surrounding menarche, menstrual hygiene and menstrual health among adolescent girls in low and middle income countries in order to inform the future design of relevant policies and programming. The study of over 80 journal articles from a number of low and middle income countries confirmed that: (1) Many adolescent girls start their periods uninformed and unprepared. (2) Mothers are the primary source of information, but they inform girls too-little and too-late and often communicate their own misconceptions. …

  4. How reliable are reports of early adolescent reproductive and sexual health events in demographic and health surveys?

    CONTEXT: Age at sexual debut, age at first marriage or first union and age at first birth are among the most widely used indicators of health and well-being for female adolescents. However, the accuracy of estimates for these indicators, particularly for younger adolescents, is poorly understood. METHODS: For each of nine countries in Africa and Latin America, Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data from two surveys conducted five years apart were used to examine women’s reports of age at sexual debut, marriage or first union, and first birth. …

  5. Sexual and reproductive health and rights for the next decades: What's been achieved? What lies ahead?

    This Global Public Health Special Issue ‘SRHR for the next decades: What's been achieved? What lies ahead?’ assesses progress 20 years after the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), which established the sexual and reproductive health and rights framework for population and health policy (United Nations [UN], 1995). …

  6. Adolescence: building solid foundations for lifelong flourishing

    Adolescence is a decisive age for girls and boys around the world. What they experience during their teenage years shapes the direction of their lives and that of their families. Investments in adolescents’ education and health are life-time investments that are likely to have positive effects on behaviours and lifestyles during their entire life course. For many young people the mere onset of puberty that occurs during adolescence marks a time of heightened vulnerability. …

  7. A review of generalist and specialist community health workers for delivering adolescent health services in sub-Saharan Africa

    The health of adolescents is increasingly seen as an important international priority because the world’s one point eight billion young people (aged 10 to 24 years) accounts for 15.5% of the global burden of disease and are disproportionately located in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Furthermore, an estimated 70% of premature adult deaths are attributable to unhealthy behaviors often initiated in adolescence (such as smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity). …

  8. The health and wellbeing of young people in sub-Saharan Africa: an under-researched area?

    A third of sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA) population comprises persons aged 10–24 years. These youth are growing up in a context marked by pervasive poverty, limited educational opportunities, high HIV/AIDS prevalence, widespread conflict, and weak social controls. Published research on the broad issues that affect youth health and wellbeing in SSA is limited and centers heavily on sexual and reproductive health. …

  9. On the cutting edge: improving the informed consent process for adolescents in Zambia undergoing male circumcision for HIV prevention

    The authors present data from operations research into the introduction of male circumcision (MC) in Zambia, assessing informed consent (IC) procedures for adolescent MC clients. They administered a comprehension test among adult (n=311) and adolescent (n=115) clients at 10 clinics around Lusaka between the counseling and IC process. They conducted semi-structured interviews with adolescent (1317 years) MC clients 1 week post-surgery (n=28) and 13 key informants (service providers and stakeholders). …

  10. Health of the world's adolescents: a synthesis of internationally comparable data

    Adolescence and young adulthood offer opportunities for health gains both through prevention and early clinical intervention. Yet development of health information systems to support this work has been weak and so far lagged behind those for early childhood and adulthood. With falls in the number of deaths in earlier childhood in many countries and a shifting emphasis to non-communicable disease risks, injuries, and mental health, there are good reasons to assess the present sources of health information for young people. …

  11. How Young is "too Young"? Comparative Perspective on Adolescent Sexual, Marital and Reproductive Transitions

    This study is an article extracted from "Studies in Family planning" published in December 2008 by Population Council. The aim of this article is to know if there is an age to start sexual intercourse, to marry or to bear a child. This study propose a division of adolescence into three age categories -early adolescence (ages 10-14), middle adolescence (15-17), and late adolescence (18-19) instead of using the customary 15-19 to better capture the age-specific variations in the trajectories of male and female sexual, marital and reproductive events. …

  12. Indonesian survey looks at adolescent reproductive health

    This article summarizes some of the survey findings about young Indonesians in this period of rapid social change. The survey asked young men and women in four of Indonesia's most populous provinces about work, education, marriage, and family life and explored their knowledge and attitudes about sexuality, fertility, and HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

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