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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Rethinking HIV-prevention for school-going young people based on current behaviour patterns

    The aim of the research was to gain increased knowledge regarding the sexual risk behaviour of school-going young people in South Africa after two decades of HIV-education in schools, to contribute to the development of improved HIV prevention strategies. In collaboration with the Department of Education, a sample of 5305 learners (between 10 and 18 years in Grades 5–12) from high-risk communities were identified. …

  2. Another lost generation? The impact of HIV/AIDS on schooling in South Africa

    The South African education system is faced with the difficult task of redressing the inequalities and backlogs created by the racially segregated and unequally resourced apartheid structure. The system is also faced with the responsibility of reintroducing a culture of teaching and learning in the nation’s schools after the anti-apartheid struggle’s ‘freedom now, education later!’ slogan, a time when protest action brought about disruptions in young people’s education, and the much lamented ‘lost generation’. …

  3. Experimental evaluation of school-based HIV programs in sub-Saharan Africa

    School-based adolescent health education programs represent a durable strategy in reducing the spread of HIV because they can leverage pre-existing social and organizational structures to reach large fractions of students at critical life stages. Many evaluations of school-based HIV programs draw on multilevel study designs that assign schools to treatment conditions or assign students to treatment conditions within blocks defined by school membership. …

  4. School-based sexual health education interventions to prevent STI/HIV in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    The authors reviewed evaluations of school-based sexual health education interventions in sub-Saharan Africa to assess effectiveness in reducing sexually transmitted infections and promoting condom use.

  5. Sexuality education in rural Lesotho schools: challenges and possibilities

    The aim of this paper is to present and discuss some of the obstacles to effective sexuality education in rural Lesotho schools and offer some suggestions that could facilitate positive change in the current status of sexuality education. The call for education as a ‘vaccine’ against new HIV infections places teachers at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic, and thus it is imperative to understand how they experience teaching about sexuality. …

  6. ‘You need to have some guts to teach’: teacher preparation and characteristics for the teaching of sexuality and HIV/AIDS education in South African schools

    Using in-depth interviews, the authors asked sexuality educators in South Africa about their own professional preparation and what they believed were necessary educator characteristics for teaching Sexuality Education. Their findings show that the teachers taught Sexuality Education without any appropriate qualification or preparation, but because they had a lighter teaching load and had room to take on more teaching hours. Nevertheless, they all mention that ‘not anybody can teach Sexuality Education’. …

  7. Engaging school personnel in making schools safe for girls in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique

    Girls are vulnerable to HIV in part because the social systems in which they live have failed to protect them. This study evaluates a program aimed at making schools safe for girl learners in order to reduce girls’ vulnerability to HIV in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique. In addition to an extensive process evaluation with school personnel program participants, program facilitators, and community members, a cross-sectional post-intervention survey was conducted among adolescent girls in the three countries. The total sample size was 1249 adolescent girls (ages 11–18). …

  8. Life orientation sexuality education in South Africa: Gendered norms, justice and transformation

    Research on sexual practices among young South Africans has proliferated in light of the national imperatives to challenge the spread of HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence and unwanted early pregnancies. It has been widely acknowledged that, in order to respond to these social problems, we need to understand the enmeshment of gender, class, age and other forms of social inequality, and how these are played out in ‘normal’ heterosexual relationships.

  9. The unfinished nature of rights-informed HIV- and AIDS-related education: an analysis of three school-based initiatives

    Over the past 25 years, there has been growing investment in concepts of rights in the areas of HIV prevention, care and treatment, including HIV- and AIDS-related education delivered in schools. Despite this increasing commitment to the notion of rights, few efforts appear to have been made to understand the varying conceptions of rights that underpin different kinds of initiatives. …

  10. Students want HIV testing in schools: a formative evaluation of the acceptability of HIV testing and counselling at schools in Gauteng and North West provinces in South Africa

    Background: The proposal by the South African Health Ministry to implement HIV testing and counselling (HTC) at schools in 2011 generated debates about the appropriateness of such testing. However, the debate has been between the Ministries of Education and Health, with little considerations of the students. The main aim of the study was to assess the students’ opinions and uptake of HIV testing and counselling in general, and the acceptability of the provision of HIV testing and counselling in schools. …

  11. Promoting sexual and reproductive health among adolescents in southern and eastern Africa (PREPARE): project design and conceptual framework

    Background: Young people in sub-Saharan Africa are affected by the HIV pandemic to a greater extent than young people elsewhere and effective HIV-preventive intervention programmes are urgently needed. The present article presents the rationale behind an EU-funded research project (PREPARE) examining effects of community-based (school delivered) interventions conducted in four sites in sub-Saharan Africa. One intervention focuses on changing beliefs and cognitions related to sexual practices (Mankweng, Limpopo, South Africa). …

  12. Parents' perceptions of HIV counselling and testing in schools: ethical, legal and social implications

    In view of the high prevalence of HIV and AIDS in South Africa, particularly among adolescents, the Departments of Health and Education have proposed a school-based HIV counselling and testing (HCT) campaign to reduce HIV infections and sexual risk behaviour. Through the use of semi-structured interviews, our qualitative study explored perceptions of parents regarding the ethico-legal and social implications of the proposed campaign. Despite some concerns, parents were generally in favour of the HCT campaign. …

  13. Implementation of adolescent-friendly voluntary medical male circumcision using a school based recruitment program in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

    Background: Epidemiological data from South Africa demonstrate that risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in males increases dramatically after adolescence. Targeting adolescent HIV-negative males may be an efficient and cost-effective means of maximising the established HIV prevention benefits of voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) in high HIV prevalence–, low circumcision practice–settings. This study assessed the feasibility of recruiting male high school students for VMMC in such a setting in rural KwaZulu-Natal. …

  14. What can a teacher do with a cellphone? Using participatory visual research to speak back in addressing HIV and AIDS

    The ubiquity of cellphones in South Africa, a country ravaged by HIV and AIDS, makes cellphones an easily accessible tool to use in participatory approaches to addressing HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) issues, particularly in school contexts. In this article we explore a participatory visual approach undertaken with a group of rural teachers, to uncover and address HIV and AIDS related issues. Drawing on our experience in using participatory video, we used cellphones to produce cellphilms about youth and risk in the context of HIV and AIDS. …

  15. 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. …

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