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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Caught in culture? Cultural transformation through HIV/AIDS prevention education in Zambia

    The study explores the role and contribution of education in developing a localized and relevant HIV/AIDS prevention strategy through a multi-voiced approach, involving the educational institutions, as well as the traditional leaders, community-members, including parents. The study comprised all public schools in one Zambian province from 2002-2008. The study explores, among other factors, the role of traditional culture in mitigating and exacerbating the spread of the disease. …

  2. An examination of knowledge, attitudes and practices related to HIV/AIDS prevention in Zimbabwean university students: Comparing intervention program participants and non-participants

    OBJECTIVES: This study represents a comprehensive assessment of differences between participants in an HIV/AIDS prevention program (SHAPE: Sustainability, Hope, Action, Prevention, Education) and non-participants in knowledge, attitudes and practices with a focus on cultural, sociological and economic variables. METHODS: We developed an eight-page questionnaire that was administered to 933 randomly selected students at the University of Zimbabwe. Survey items addressed sexual decision-making, condom use, limiting sexual partners, cultural power dynamics and access to HIV testing. …

  3. Adapting a multifaceted U.S. HIV prevention education program for girls in Ghana

    We adapted a U.S. HIV prevention program to address knowledge gaps and cultural pressures that increase the risk of infection in adolescent Ghanaian girls. The theory-based nine-module HIV prevention program combines didactics and games, an interactive computer program about sugar daddies, and tie-and-dye training to demonstrate an economic alternative to transactional sex. The abstinence-based study was conducted in a church-affiliated junior secondary school in Nsawam, Ghana. Of 61 subjects aged 10-14 in the prevention program, over two thirds were very worried about becoming HIV infected. …

  4. Nurturing enabling environments for culturally appropriate HIV and AIDS policies through informed public dialogue the case of Botswana and Zambia

    As part of UNESCO’s strategy to respond to the global HIV and AIDS epidemic, the Culture, HIV and AIDS program works to support the development of culturally appropriate policies and programming that are gender-responsive, human-rights based and built on a thorough analysis of the cultural and social specificities of those communities concerned. UNESCO’s ‘official’ definition of culture as contained in the UNESCO Mexico City Declaration on Cultural Policies (1982) reads as following: “a set of distinctive spiritual and material, intellectual and emotional characteristics which define a soci …

  5. Talk what others think you can’t talk: HIV/AIDS clubs as peer education in Ugandan schools

    In this article, we make the case that HIV/AIDS clubs in Ugandan schools provide valuable information to students who may not have easy access to health services. As one club motto suggests, the clubs ‘talk what others think you can’t talk’. The innovative peer education methods, which include drama, popular culture and community outreach all have great appeal to youth, and provide unique opportunities for female students to raise gender issues and develop leadership skills. …

  6. Efficacy of an American alcohol and hiv prevention curriculum adapted for use in South Africa: results of a pilot study in five township schools

    The high prevalence of HIV among young people in African countries underscores a pressing need for effective prevention interventions. Adapting school–based prevention programs developed in the United States for use in African schools may present an alternative to the time–consuming process of developing home–grown programs. The researchers report the results of a pretest–posttest field trial of an alcohol/ HIV prevention curriculum adapted from an American model and delivered to ninth-grade students in five South African township schools. …

  7. Gender Dynamics and Sexual Norms among Youth in Mali in the Context of HIV/AIDS Prevention

    Socially constructed ideas of gender norms and values attached to sexuality need to be considered when aiming to build the young people’s capacity to adopt HIV preventive behaviours. We conducted ten focus groups and sixteen individual interviews to explore sexual norms among youth in Bamako. Premarital sex, multiple partnering, condom use and transactional sex were discussed. The findings suggest that young people’s sexual norms are shaped by kin or authoritative elders as well as by external influences coming from Western culture. …

  8. Youth in a void: sexuality, HIV/AIDS and communication in Kenyan public schools

    The disappearance of traditional sex education during rites of passage in African societies has left many youth uncertain of where to look for information. Against this backcloth, the objectives of this study were to identify knowledge gaps amongst adolescents in Kenya regarding sexuality, HIV/AIDS and reproductive health. A thematic analysis was conducted of questions posed by 735 school youth aged 12–18 years from Meru and Kajiado Districts. Results show that many questions showed curiosity and anxiousness. …

  9. Condoms in sub-Saharan Africa

    Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is the region with the world’s highest rates of HIV and other sexually transmissible infections (STIs), yet numerous studies show that condom use is generally rare. This suggests a need for a better understanding of how condoms fit within sexual practices and relationships in SSA. This paper seeks to address this need by reviewing research published between the late 1980s and 2011 on use and factors influencing use of male condoms in SSA. …

  10. HIV/AIDS educational strategies in private primary schools: a pilot study in Gaborone City, Botswana

    The study was a descriptive survey conducted in 14 private primary schools in Gaborne city in Botswana. A structured and self-administered instrument was used to collect data from 12 head masters out of the 14 headmasters identified to participate in the study. Descriptive statistics was used to report the findings. The results showed that the private primary schools in Gaborone use a variety of HIV/AIDS prevention educational strategies to make primary school pupils aware of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the country. …

  11. Experiences in socio-cultural approaches to HIV prevention education and empowerment in the Caribbean

    This booklet gives a snap shot of the different socio-cultural approaches to HIV/AIDS prevention in the Caribbean. It presents edu-drama, theatre in education and other alternative media interventions that are geared towards empowering youth, their parents and community leaders to live a healthy lifestyle and create a safe environment within their communities.

  12. Turning a crisis into an opportunity: Strategies for scaling up the national response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Lesotho

    The way we interpret and understand HIV/AIDS influences our choice for programmatic interventions. Therefore, this report begins by providing conceptual starting points for a comprehensive understanding of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Chapter 1 sets the national historic context, which serves as a backdrop to the heritage which we seek to preserve, and the will of the people to win. …

  13. Maisha Newsletter December 2011

    Maisha+ focuses on sharing experiences and lessons in reaching out to the hard-to-reach community populations in Sub Saharan African with HIV and AIDS interventions. In this issue: -Towards zero HIV infections, discrimination and AIDS deaths for hard to reach communities -Violence against women contributing to spread of HIV -Supporting Associations of people living with HIV in Uganda -Challenges in addressing traditional beliefs and practices in HIV and AIDS among the Maasai -Working with sexual minorities in Rwanda -Stop the discrimination! -testimony from a victim of assault

  14. Collaborating with Traditional Healers for HIV Prevention and Care in sub-Saharan Africa: suggestions for Programme Managers and Field Workers

    These guidelines aim to empower health authorities, governmental and nongovernmental organizations as well as community groups seeking to develop a productive relationship between traditional and conventional (that is modern or biomedical) health systems. The guidelines were conceived to help envision, plan, design, implement, evaluate and scale up initiatives that involve collaborating with traditional healers for HIV prevention and care in sub-Saharan Africa. The ultimate goal of this effort is to improve access to, and quality of, health services for the clients of both systems. …

  15. Sexuality education approaches: what would be applicable to North of Africa and Middle East?

    In this paper, Middle East and North of Africa are not presented from demographic dimension, rather from cultural one, where the most dominant religion is is Islam. Consequently, the paper will discuss applicability of sex education approaches from Islamic perspectives but within the Middle East and North of Africa context.

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