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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. The girl with her period is the one to hang her head. Reflections on menstrual management among schoolgirls in rural Kenya

    Background. The onset of menstruation is a landmark event in the life of a young woman. Yet the complications and challenges that can accompany such an event have been understudied, specifically in resource-poor settings. As interventions aim to improve female attendance in schools, it is important to explore how menstruation is perceived and navigated by girls in the school setting. This research conveys rural Kenyan schoolgirls' perceptions and practices related to menstruation. Methods. Data were collected at six rural schools in the Nyanza Province of Western Kenya. …

  2. Menstruation and school absenteeism: Evidence from rural Malawi

    The provision of toilets and menstrual supplies appears to be a promising strategy to promote adolescent girls' school attendance and performance in less developed countries. In this article, we use the first round of the Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Survey (MSAS) to examine the individual- and school-level factors associated with menstruation-related school absenteeism. …

  3. Parent-child communication about sexual and reproductive health in rural Tanzania: Implications for young people's sexual health interventions

    Background: Many programmes on young people and HIV/AIDS prevention have focused on the in-school and channeled sexual and reproductive health messages through schools with limited activities for the young people's families. The assumption has been that parents in African families do not talk about sexual and reproductive health (SRH) with their children. These approach has had limited success because of failure to factor in the young person's family context, and the influence of parents. …

  4. HIV prevention for rural youth in Nigeria: Background overview

    The negative impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic has been a major challenge to sub-Saharan Africa. Although the rate of new HIV infections in sub-continent has decreased, the total number of people living with HIV continues to rise. Most of the people infected with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa are within the age bracket of 15 to 35 years. It has been estimated that about 80% of the infected group are aged 20-29 years. …

  5. School culture and the well-being of same-sex attracted youth

    This study assesses how variations in heteronormative culture in high schools affect the well-being of same-sex-attracted youth. The authors focus on the stigmatization of same-sex attraction (rather than identity or behavior) to better understand how heteronormativity may marginalize a wide range of youth. …

  6. 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). …

  7. Out-of-school and at risk? Socio-demographic characteristics, AIDS knowledge and risk perception among young people in Northern Tanzania

    This paper investigates the reasons why young people in urban and rural Kilimanjaro, Tanzania do not attend school, their socio-demographic characteristics, AIDS knowledge and risk perception. A structured face-to-face interview was conducted with 1007 young people between the ages of 13 and 18. Findings suggest that non-attendance is the product of a complex interaction of economic, individual, family and school-related factors. Boys have more AIDS knowledge than girls, and those from urban areas are more knowledgeable than their rural counterparts. …

  8. 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. …

  9. Out yonder: sexual-minority adolescents in rural communities in British Colombia

    We compared sexual-minority adolescents living in rural communities with their peers in urban areas in British Columbia, exploring differences in emotional health, victimization experiences, sexual behaviors, and substance use. We analyzed a population-based sample of self-identified lesbian, gay, or bisexual respondents from the British Columbia Adolescent Health Survey of 2003 (weighted n = 6905). We tested rural-urban differences separately by gender with the 2 test and logistic regressions. We found many similarities and several differences. …

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