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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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. …

  2. The revised international technical guidance on sexuality education - a powerful tool at an important crossroads for sexuality education

    In January 2018, UNESCO, together with UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, and the WHO, completed the substantial technical and political process of updating the International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education, thereby unifying a UN position on rationale, evidence, and guidance on designing and delivering comprehensive sexuality education (CSE).

  3. Improving young people’s health and wellbeing through a school health research network: reflections on school–researcher engagement at the national level

    The School Health Research Network is a policy–practice–research partnership established in Wales in 2013. The network aims to: provide health and well-being data for national, regional and local stakeholders, including schools; co-produce school-based health improvement research for Wales; and build capacity for evidence-informed practice in the school health community. …

  4. What is best practice in sex and relationship education? A synthesis of evidence, including stakeholders’ views

    Sex and relationship education (SRE) is regarded as vital to improving young people's sexual health, but a third of schools in England lacks good SRE and government guidance is outdated. The authors aimed to identify what makes SRE programmes effective, acceptable, sustainable and capable of faithful implementation. […] They identified key features of effective and acceptable SRE. Their best practice criteria can be used to evaluate existing programmes, contribute to the development of new programmes and inform consultations around statutory SRE.

  5. Implementing the United Kingdom government's 10-year teenage pregnancy strategy for England (1999–2010): applicable lessons for other countries

    Teenage pregnancy is an issue of inequality affecting the health, well-being, and life chances of young women, young men, and their children. Consequently, high levels of teenage pregnancy are of concern to an increasing number of developing and developed countries.

  6. 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. …

  7. Feasibility trial of a film-based educational intervention for increasing boys’ and girls’ intentions to avoid teenage pregnancy: Study protocol

    The World Health Organisation, amongst others, recognises that adolescent men have a vital yet neglected role in reducing teenage pregnancies and that there is a pressing need for educational interventions designed especially for them. This study seeks to fill this gap by determining the feasibility of conducting an effectiveness trial of the If I Were Jack intervention in post-primary schools. This 4-week intervention aims to increase teenagers’ intentions to avoid unintended pregnancy and addresses gender inequalities in sex education by explicitly focusing on young men. …

  8. School-linked sexual health services for young people (SSHYP): a survey and systematic review concerning current models, effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and research opportunities

    The aims of this study were, first, to identify current forms of school-based sexual health services (SBSHS) and school-linked sexual health services (SLSHS) in the UK; second, to review and synthesise existing evidence from qualitative and quantitative studies concerning the effectiveness, acceptability and cost-effectiveness of these types of service, and third, to identify potential areas for further research. The study had two components. …

  9. 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. …

  10. Preventing HIV transmission in adolescents: an analysis of the Portuguese data from the Health Behaviour School-aged Children study and focus groups

    This research examined demographic, personal, family and school variables related to adolescents’ sexual behaviour and attitudes towards HIV/AIDS infected people. This research was also designed to understand the cognitive and emotional bases of the sexual decisions made by adolescents. Preventive research must explore how young people understand, manage and explore their sexuality, risk and relationships.

  11. HIV infection and sexual risk behaviour among youth who have experienced orphanhood: systematic review and meta-analysis

    Background: Previous research has suggested that orphaned children and adolescents might have elevated risk for HIV infection. We examined the state of evidence regarding the association between orphan status and HIV risk in studies of youth aged 24 years and younger. Methods: Using systematic review methodology, we identified 10 studies reporting data from 12 countries comparing orphaned and non-orphaned youth on HIV-related risk indicators, including HIV serostatus, other sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy and sexual behaviours. …

  12. Multi-city assessment of lifetime pregnancy involvement among street youth, Ukraine

    The authors conducted an assessment to describe the prevalence of and risk factors associated with lifetime pregnancy involvement (LPI) among street youth from three Ukrainian cities. They used modified time-location sampling to conduct a cross-sectional assessment in Odesa, Kyiv, and Donetsk that included citywide mapping of 91 public locations frequented by street youth, random selection of 74 sites, and interviewing of all eligible and consenting street youth ages 15-24 years found at sampled sites (n = 929). …

  13. Awareness and knowledge of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among school-going adolescents in Europe: a systematic review of published literature

    This systematic review looks at levels of STI awareness, knowledge and perceived risk of school-going adolescents in Europe. Fifteen studies were included, all of which cross-sectional and conducted among 13 to 20 year olds. Awareness and knowledge varied depending on gender. Awareness on HIV/AIDS was high (over 90%) but low for HPV (5.4%-66%). While knowledge that condoms protect against STIs was high, adolescents viewed it as an interim contraception method before using the pill. In this study, knowledge did not translate into safer sex behavior change. …

  14. Evaluation of an AIDS education programme for young adults

    The aim of this randomized, pre-post test study was to evaluate the impact of AIDS education programs (Streetwize UK) on adolescents. Participants were identfied from six youth training centers in Nottingham, England. The participants were aged 16-19 years and each centre ws randomly allocated to experimental (n=173) or control (n=164) group. Sixty-six percent of the sample was sexually active. No differences were observed between groups at pre-test. …

  15. Peer education in HIV prevention: an evaluation in schools

    Peer education is increasingly being used to increase HIV and AIDS awareness among youth. This pilot cohort study tested the effectiveness of this approach among high school students in 10 schools in Athens, Greece. Over one year, 702 students were followed (n = 493 experimental group, n = 209 control group) and knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and practices assessed through a pre and post intervention questionnaire. Students in the intervention group were moderately more empowered to take personal responsibility and adopt safer sexual practices. …

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