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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Parents’ and teachers’ views on sexual health education and screening for sexually transmitted infections among in-school adolescent girls in Kenya: a qualitative study

    Background: To successfully develop and implement school-based sexual health interventions for adolescent girls, such as screening for Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Trichomonas vaginalis, it is important to understand parents’ and teachers’ attitudes towards sexual health education and acceptability of sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening interventions. Methods: In this qualitative study, we approached parents and teachers from three high schools to participate in in-depth interviews (IDIs) and focus-group discussions (FGDs). …

  2. Learners’ perspectives on the provision of condoms in South African public schools

    A stubborn health challenge for learners in South African public schools concerns sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). In 2015, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) proposed the provision of condoms and SRHR-services to learners in schools. This study aimed to contribute to the finalisation and implementation of DBE’s policy by exploring learners’ perspectives on the provision of condoms and SRHR-services in schools. …

  3. What does not work in adolescent sexual and reproductive health: a review of evidence on interventions commonly accepted as best practices

    Youth centers, peer education, and one-off public meetings have generally been ineffective in facilitating young people's access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, changing their behaviors, or influencing social norms around adolescent SRH. Approaches that have been found to be effective when well implemented, such as comprehensive sexuality education and youth-friendly services, have tended to flounder as they have considerable implementation requirements that are seldom met. …

  4. 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). …

  5. Invited commentary: Broadening the evidence for adolescent sexual and reproductive health and education in the United States

    Scientific research has made major contributions to adolescent health by providing insights into factors that influence it and by defining ways to improve it. However, US adolescent sexual and reproductive health policies-particularly sexuality health education policies and programs-have not benefited from the full scope of scientific understanding. From 1998 to 2009, federal funding for sexuality education focused almost exclusively on ineffective and scientifically inaccurate abstinence-only-until-marriage (AOUM) programs. …

  6. Twenty years after International Conference on Population and Development: Where are we with adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights?

    The International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994 laid out a bold, clear, and comprehensive definition of reproductive health and called for nations to meet the educational and service needs of adolescents to enable them to deal in a positive and responsible way with their sexuality. …

  7. Sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescent girls: Evidence from low- and middle-income countries

    This paper reviews the evidence on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of adolescent girls in low-income and middle-income countries (LMIC) in light of the policy and programme commitments made at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), analyses progress since 1994, and maps challenges in and opportunities for protecting their health and human rights. …

  8. School-based reproductive health and safety education for students aged 12-15 years in UNESCO's (2009) International Technical Guidance

    Globally, adolescents aged 12–15 years are making sexual and reproductive decisions of profound significance for their future, often based on misguided, inadequate or dangerously wrong information. Very few countries provide evidential and comprehensive education about puberty, sexuality, and reproductive health and safety to children and young adolescents at school, when it is most effective and beneficial. UNESCO has produced a culturally applicable framework for such education, with the primary aim of reducing sexual risk behaviour and sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS. …

  9. Rwandan young people's perceptions on sexuality and relationships: Results from a qualitative study using the ‘mailbox technique’

    This study aimed to gain more insight into young Rwandans' perceptions on sex and relationships, which is essential for formulating effective sexual and reproductive health (SRH) promotion interventions. Using a 'mailbox technique', this paper studies the spontaneous thoughts of Rwandan young people on sexuality. Mailboxes were installed in five secondary schools in the Bugesera district and students were invited to write about their ideas, secrets, wishes, desires and fears on sexuality and relationships. Of the 186 letters collected, 154 addressed SRH topics. …

  10. Promoting sexual and reproductive health among adolescents in southern and eastern Africa (PREPARE): project design and conceptual framework

    Background: Young people in sub-Saharan Africa are affected by the HIV pandemic to a greater extent than young people elsewhere and effective HIV-preventive intervention programmes are urgently needed. The present article presents the rationale behind an EU-funded research project (PREPARE) examining effects of community-based (school delivered) interventions conducted in four sites in sub-Saharan Africa. One intervention focuses on changing beliefs and cognitions related to sexual practices (Mankweng, Limpopo, South Africa). …

  11. Investing in very young adolescents' sexual and reproductive health

    Very young adolescents (VYAs) between the ages of 10 and 14 represent about half of the 1.2 billion adolescents aged 10–19 in the world today. In lower- and middleincome countries, where most unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, maternal deaths and sexually transmitted infections occur, investment in positive youth development to promote sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is increasing. Most interventions, though, focus on older adolescents, overlooking VYAs. …

  12. Sexual and reproductive health and rights: implications for comprehensive sex education among young people in Uganda

    This paper presents the findings from an explorative study comparing sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) against local realities for young people in Uganda. This was done by analysing statements by Ugandan adolescents extracted from focus group discussions relating to two SRHRs central in this research: (1) the right of young people to complete and accurate information; and (2) the right to self determination. We found discrepancies between these universally formulated rights and the (political, economic and community) context young Ugandans live in. …

  13. Multifaceted Adolescent Reproductive Health Education Strategies in Panama

    Reproductive health education relates directly to six of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, including that of combating HIV/AIDS. The need for high-impact adolescent sexual and preoductive health care programs has become a primary concern for global health organizations. Regarding HIV/AIDS prevalence, Panama is at a critical point in which the situation can either drastically improve or deteriorate depending on how it is addressed. …

  14. Long-Term Biological and Behavioural Impact of an Adolescent Sexual Health Intervention in Tanzania: Follow-up Survey of the Community-Based MEMA kwa Vijana Trial

    The ability of specific behaviour-change interventions to reduce HIV infection in young people remains questionable. Since January 1999, an adolescent sexual and reproductive health (SRH) intervention has been implemented in ten randomly chosen intervention communities in rural Tanzania, within a community randomised trial (see below; NCT00248469). The intervention consisted of teacher-led, peer-assisted in-school education, youth-friendly health services, community activities, and youth condom promotion and distribution. …

  15. Sexual coercion among in-school adolescents in Rwanda: prevalence and correlates of victimization and normative acceptance

    Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to sexual coercion, as victim as well as perpetrator. This paper aims to adapt sexual and reproductive health interventions to the reality of young people’s sexuality and relationships. This study assesses the prevalence of forced sex, characteristics of victims and norms regarding sexual coercion among Rwandan adolescents. A survey was completed by 285 senior secondary school students and four focus groups were conducted. Of sexually active respondents, 15.5% reported forced sexual intercourse. …

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