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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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. …

  2. 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. …

  3. 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. …

  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. 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. …

  6. HIV and adolescents: focus on young key populations

    Adolescents and young adults are at increased risk for HIV due to the many developmental, psychological, social, and structural transitions that converge in this period of the lifespan. In addition, adolescent deaths resulting from HIV continue to rise despite declines in other age groups. There are also young key populations (YKPs) that bear disproportionate burdens of HIV and are the most vulnerable, including young men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender youth, young people who inject drugs, and adolescent and young adult sex workers. …

  7. Behavioral determinants of urban youth sexual and reproductive health. A secondary analysis of DHS data for Benin and Madagascar

    Youth aged 15-24 represent a growing and heterogeneous proportion of the world’s population. Investing in young people’s health and wellbeing is critical to promoting growth and development, not only for individuals but also for communities and nations. The majority of today’s youth are living in urban areas.In an urban or city environment, opportunities for jobs, education, better housing and health care are often more widely available than in rural areas. But these benefits are usually unevenly distributed and urban poor have limited or no access to many urban amenities. …

  8. 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. …

  9. Prevalence of pattern of risky behaviors for reproductive and sexual health among middle- and high-school students

    This research aimed to establish the prevalence and factors associated with the pattern of risky behavior for reproductive and sexual health (PRBRSH) among secondary education students in Santa Marta, Colombia. A cross-sectional study was done. The PRBRSH was defined as having had two or more out of four possible risky sexual practices across the lifetime. Logistic regression was calculated to control for confounding variables. In total, 804 students reported lifetime sexual intercourse. PRBRSH was reported by 36.1% of the sample. …

  10. 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. …

  11. Young people today, time to act now: why adolescents and young people need comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services in Eastern and Southern Africa. Summary

    This report is the summary of an in-depth Regional Report into the education and sexual reproductive health status of adolescents and young people in Eastern and Southern Africa. The full report (Young People Today. Time to Act Now) was developed in support of the ESA commitment process, to provide a regional assessment of the current status of HIV and sexuality education and SRH services for adolescents and young people, and to provide an evidence base for discussion related to policy change and programming for adolescents and young people in the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region. …

  12. 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. …

  13. Young people's sexual health in South Africa: HIV prevalence and sexual behaviors from a nationally representative household surevy

    Objectives: To determine the prevalence of HIV infection, HIV risk factors, and exposure to national HIV prevention programs, and to identify factors associated with HIV infection among South African youth, aged 15–24 years. Design: A cross-sectional, nationally representative, household survey. Methods: From March to August 2003 we conducted a national survey of HIV prevalence and sexual behavior among 11 904 15–24 year olds. Multivariable models for HIV infection were restricted to sexually experienced youth. …

  14. Regional issues brief: rights of children and young people to access HIV-related services

    This Regional Issues Brief has been written to provide an overview of an area of enquiry that the Global Commission on HIV and the Law is examining – issues of law and HIV pertaining to young people. It has been undertaken through a literature review of laws and documentation of their enforcement in the context of Asia and the Pacific. It serves as an information resource and complements the report of the Regional Dialogue for Asia and the Pacific that was held under the auspices of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law in Bangkok on 16 and 17 February 2011.

  15. High income countries issue brief: rights of children and young people to access HIV-related services

    This brief focuses on the rights of children (minors under the age of 18 years) in high-income countries to access health services related to HIV prevention – in particular sexual and reproductive health services, and harm reduction services and drug treatment services. …

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