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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. How reliable are reports of early adolescent reproductive and sexual health events in demographic and health surveys?

    CONTEXT: Age at sexual debut, age at first marriage or first union and age at first birth are among the most widely used indicators of health and well-being for female adolescents. However, the accuracy of estimates for these indicators, particularly for younger adolescents, is poorly understood. METHODS: For each of nine countries in Africa and Latin America, Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data from two surveys conducted five years apart were used to examine women’s reports of age at sexual debut, marriage or first union, and first birth. …

  2. A tale of two countries: rethinking sexual risk for HIV among young people in South Africa and the United States

    This paper compares the sexual behaviors of young people in South Africa (SA) and the United States (US) with the aim of better understanding the potential role of sexual behavior in HIV transmission in these two countries that have strikingly different HIV epidemics. Nationally representative, population-based surveys of young people ages 18-24 years from SA (n = 7,548) and the US (n = 13,451) were used. The prevalence of HIV was 10.2% in SA and 1% in the US. …

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