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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Harmonizing the legal environment for adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights: A review of 23 countries in East and Southern Africa

    The study reviews the laws, policies and related frameworks in 23 countries in East and Southern Africa (ESA) that create either impediments to, or an enabling environment for, adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights. The assessment resulted in the development of a harmonized regional legal framework, which translates international and regional legal provisions into useful strategies. It gives recommendations based on applicable core legal values and principles gleaned from a range of conventions, charters, political commitments, guidelines and declarations. …

  2. Keeping African girls in school with better sanitary care

    For young girls in developing countries, not knowing how to manage their periods can hinder access to education. Research from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London demonstrates that in rural Uganda, providing free sanitary products and lessons about puberty to girls may increase their attendance at school.

  3. Rethinking sexual agency: proposing a multicomponent model based on young people’s life stories

    Sexual health policies explicitly aim to encourage young people to take responsibility for their sexuality to prevent adverse outcomes such as unintended pregnancies, STIs and sexual assault. In Europe and North America, ‘choice’ has become a central concept in sexual and reproductive health policy making. However, the concept of choice is not unproblematic, not least because the cultural emphasis on individual responsibility obscures structural limitations and inequalities, and mutual responsibility between partners. …

  4. Child marriage: a mapping of programmes and partners in twelve countries in East and Southern Africa

    This report presents the results of a mapping of programmes and partnerships that seek to prevent and mitigate the effects of child marriage in East and Southern Africa. The mapping focused on 12 countries in the region where the prevalence of child marriage is greater than 30 per cent: Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, South Sudan, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. …

  5. A systematic review of the role of school-based healthcare in adolescent sexual, reproductive, and mental health

    Background: Accessible sexual, reproductive, and mental healthcare services are crucial for adolescent health and wellbeing. It has been reported that school-based healthcare (SBHC) has the potential to improve the availability of services particularly for young people who are normally underserved. Locating health services in schools has the potential to reduce transport costs, increase accessibility and provide links between schools and communities. Methods: A systematic review of the literature was undertaken. …

  6. The Sexual and reproductive health needs of very young adolescents aged 10–14 in developing countries: what does the evidence show?

    This report draws on analyses of national survey data and literature review results to provide an overview of the evidence on key aspects of sexual and reproductive health among very young adolescents aged 10–14 living in developing regions.

  7. Strengthening comprehensive sexuality education for young people in school settings in Zambia: a review and documentation of the scale-up process

    This report documents progress on implementation of a Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)-funded UNESCO project that aims to strengthen sexuality education programmes for young people in school settings in Zambia. The project was conceptualized in line with the country’s thematic focus on broader economic and social development and is expected to reach all 9,000 government schools, 1,749,664 learners representing 100% of grades 5 to 12 learners, 40,000 in-service teachers, and 20,000 preservice teachers. …

  8. Interventions to prevent sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, among young people in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review of the published and gray literature

    Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, are prevalent among adolescents and can have lasting adverse health consequences. The objective of this review is to identify high-quality interventions and evaluations to decrease STI transmission and related risky behaviors among young people in low- and middle-income countries. PubMed, Embase, PsycInfo, Cinahl Plus, Popline, and the Cochrane Databases were searched without language limitations for articles published through November 2015. Gray literature was searched by hand. …

  9. School-based interventions for preventing HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy in adolescents (Review)

    Background: School-based sexual and reproductive health programmes are widely accepted as an approach to reducing high-risk sexual behaviour among adolescents. Many studies and systematic reviews have concentrated on measuring effects on knowledge or self-reported behaviour rather than biological outcomes, such as pregnancy or prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Objectives: To evaluate the effects of school-based sexual and reproductive health programmes on sexually transmitted infections (such as HIV, herpes simplex virus, and syphilis), and pregnancy among adolescents.

  10. Investing when it counts: reviewing the evidence and charting a course of research and action for very young adolescents

    Early adolescence, age 10 to 14, is a pivotal moment in the lives of young girls and boys around the world. It is period of rapid development where important health and social knowledge is gained, lifelong behaviors are established, beliefs and attitudes are shaped, and the foundation is built for adulthood. This period offers a window of opportunity for program interventions to help shape the life trajectories of boys and girls and to improve the future physical and economic health and well-being of entire communities. …

  11. Sexual and reproductive health of young people in Asia and the Pacific: a review of issues, policies and programmes

    The aim of the review was to describe the current status of young people’s SRH and policy and programme responses in the Asia and Pacific regions to support evidence informed policy, programming and advocacy. …

  12. Adolescent pregnancy: a review of the evidence

    This report presents an update on the current situation of pregnancies among girls less than 18 years of age and adolescents 15-19 years of age; trends during the last 10 years; variations across geographic, cultural and economic settings; interventions available to minimize pregnancy among adolescents; evidence for these programmatic approaches; and challenges that nations will have to deal with in the next 20 years given current population momentum.

  13. Factors associated with teenage pregnancy in the European Union countries: a systematic review

    Background: As part of the REPROSTAT2 project, this systematic review aimed to identify factors associated with teenage pregnancy in 25 European Union countries.Methods: The search strategy included electronic bibliographic databases (1995 to May 2005), bibliographies of selected articles and requests to all country representatives of the research team for relevant reports and publications. Primary outcome measure was conception. Inclusion criteria were quantitative studies of individual-level factors associated with teenage (13–19 years) pregnancy in EU countries. …

  14. Status report adolescents and young people in sub-Saharan Africa: Opportunities and challenges

    Nearly half of the world's population, some 3 billion people, is under the age of 25. As the largest generation ever of young people, investments in their health and well-being are crucial so they can make a positive transition into adulthood and fully contribute to the economic and social development of their families, communities and nations. But in order to develop strategies and mobilize financial resources to support adolescent and youth development, decisionmakers need reliable, up-to-date demographic, health, education and socioeconomic data about young people. …

  15. Who are we failing? How marginalisation and vulnerability affect adolescents' needs for and access to SRHR

    This report summarises a rapid review carried out by Interact Worldwide and funded by Countdown 2015 Europe. The review addresses the perception that, in the context of SRHR, all adolescents are equally ‘marginalised’ and ‘vulnerable’ due to their age. It explores how such a general assertion neglects the dramatically different situations and experiences of adolescents throughout the world: in reality, not all are equally ‘marginalised’ or ‘vulnerable’. The review asks Who are we failing and why? …

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