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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Structural drivers and social protection: mechanisms of HIV risk and HIV prevention for South African adolescents

    Social protection is high on the HIV-prevention agenda for youth in sub-Saharan Africa. However, questions remain: How do unconditional cash transfers work? What is the effect of augmenting cash provision with social care? And can “cash plus care” social protection reduce risks for adolescents most vulnerable to infection? This study tackles these questions by first identifying mediated pathways to adolescent HIV risks and then examining potential main and moderating effects of social protection in South Africa.

  2. Making the case for investing in adolescent reproductive health: a review of evidence and PopPov research contributions

    Solid evidence on the links between preventing adolescent childbearing and alleviating poverty can motivate policymakers and donors to invest in reproductive health and family planning programs for youth. Research that documents the clear cause-and-effect relationship between program interventions and outcomes, such as better health and delayed childbearing among teens, can guide decisions about investments in research or programs. …

  3. Unintended pregnancies among young women living in urban slums: Evidence from a prospective study in Nairobi City, Kenya

    Background: Despite the significant proportion of young people residing in slum communities, little attention has been paid to the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) challenges they face during their transition to adulthood within this harsh environment. Little is known about the extent to which living in extreme environments, like slums, impact SRH outcomes, especially during this key developmental period. …

  4. A review of interventions addressing structural drivers of adolescents' sexual and reproductive health vulnerability in sub-Saharan Africa: implications for sexual health programming

    Background: Young people particularly women are at increased risk of undesirable sexual and reproductive health (SRH) outcomes. Structural factors have been reported as driving some of these risks. Although several interventions have targeted some of the structural drivers for adolescent’s SRH risk, little has been done to consolidate such work. This would provide a platform for coordinated efforts towards adolescent’s SRH. …

  5. Sexual and reproductive health rights and information and communications technologies: A policy review and case study from South Africa

    This report examines the linkages between policies on, and implementation of, sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) and ICT in rural and peri-urban spaces in South Africa. South Africa is renowned for its legal provisions addressing SRHR yet also experiences barriers to adolescent sexual health. SRHR programming is politically complex and often ambivalent; as a result less contentious aspects which emphasise maternal health get prioritised. …

  6. Coping with unintended pregnancies: Narratives from adolescents in Nairobi’s slums

    The health and other risks associated with early pregnancy and sexual activity raise urgent need for appropriate interventions and programs to address adolescent reproductive behaviors. It is important to understand the circumstances surrounding, and factors associated with unintended pregnancies among young people, the challenges that limit their ability to protect their sexual and reproductive health, and how they deal with the outcomes of unintended pregnancy. …

  7. Cross-generational and transactional sexual relations in Uganda: Income poverty as a risk factor for adolescents

    The phenomenon of cross-generational sex – defined as sexual relationships between an adolescent girl and a partner who is older, usually by 10 or more years – can be linked to many life-long consequences. …

  8. Sexual exploitation of adolescent girls in Uganda. The drivers, consequences and responses to the ‘sugar daddy’ phenomenon

    Cross-generational sex and transactional sexual relations are of significant public concern in Uganda where 11.8% of girls across the country are affected. The phenomenon can be linked to immediate and life-long consequences for both girls and boys who are affected. This study looks closely at the extent to which income poverty relates to social pressures to commit or not commit a certain behavior, which is found to contribute to this particular violation of child rights.

  9. Strengthening the protection of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the African region through human rights

    Strengthening the protection of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the African region through human rights uses rights-based frameworks to address some of the serious sexual and reproductive health challenges that the African region is currently facing. More importantly, the book provides insightful human rights approaches on how these challenges can be overcome. The book is the first of its kind. …

  10. The African report on violence against children

    The report aims to inform and accelerate pan-African, regional and national efforts to prevent and respond to the violence perpetrated against children. its continent-wide focus on the experiences of African children is unique, as is its analysis of the interaction and effect of African beliefs, behaviours and attitudes on violence committed against children. The report also aims to recognise and highlight progress achieved to date not only in the evolving understanding of the problem, but also in relation to improved actions for prevention and response. …

  11. The impact and cost of the HIV/AIDS investment framework for adolescents

    Background: In 2005, the resources needed to support orphans and vulnerable children in sub-Saharan Africa were estimated at US$1.1–4.1 billion. Approaches to support vulnerable children have changed considerably since then. This study updates previous estimates by including new types of support and information on support costs. Methods: We considered 16 types of support categorized as economic strengthening, education support, social care and community outreach, and program support. …

  12. Child-focused state cash transfers and adolescent risk of HIV infection in South Africa: a propensity-score-matched case-control study

    Background: Effective and scalable HIV prevention for adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa is needed. Cash transfers can reduce HIV incidence through reducing risk behaviours. However, questions remain about their effectiveness within national poverty-alleviation programmes, and their effects on different behaviours in boys and girls. Methods: In this case-control study, we interviewed South African adolescents (aged 10–18 years) between 2009 and 2012. …

  13. 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. …

  14. 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. …

  15. Using participatory research and action to address the HIV-related vulnerabilities of adolescent girls in Tanzania

    Globally, girls and young women are more likely to be HIV positive than their male peers, due in large part to an array of gender inequalities that negatively impact their mental and physical well being. Protecting girls from this multi-dimensional risk requires first understanding how the girls experience vulnerability in their daily lives and developing solutions that are actionable within the community context. …

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