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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. Picture that: supporting sexuality educators in narrowing the knowledge/practice gap

    Teaching about sex and relationships is one of the greatest challenges in not only the combating of HIV and AIDS, but also in preparing the youth for responsible sexual behaviour. Although it seems as if teachers to some extent do feel comfortable with the teaching of sexuality education at school, the question however remains as to whether youth get the information they require. In this article, are presented drawings produced by teacher participants in order to investigate the beliefs that teachers hold regarding young people’s needs from sexuality education. …

  3. Learners’ perspectives on the provision of condoms in South African public schools

    A stubborn health challenge for learners in South African public schools concerns sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). In 2015, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) proposed the provision of condoms and SRHR-services to learners in schools. This study aimed to contribute to the finalisation and implementation of DBE’s policy by exploring learners’ perspectives on the provision of condoms and SRHR-services in schools. …

  4. Accessing the ‘right’ kinds of material and symbolic capital: the role of cash transfers in reducing adolescent school absence and risky behaviour in South Africa

    This article investigates how well South Africa’s Child Support Grant (CSG) responds to the material and psychosocial needs of adolescents, and the resultant effects on schooling and risky behaviour. One driver of schooling decisions is shame related to poverty and the ‘social cost’ of school, where a premium must often be paid for fashionable clothes or accessories. The other driver relates to symbolic and consumptive capital gained through engaging in sexual exchange relationships. The anticipated impacts from the CSG are partial because of these non-material drivers of adolescent choices. …

  5. Application of the information, motivation and behavioural skills model for targeting HIV risk behaviour amongst adolescent learners in South Africa

    This paper discusses the application of an information, motivation and behavioural skills (IMB) model in a school-based programme for the reduction of HIV risk behaviour among 259 Grade 11 learners in two high schools in Alexandra township, Johannesburg. School 1 was the Experimental group, while School 2 was the Control group. After a baseline study (Time 1) at both schools, a 3-week intervention programme was conducted at School 1. A post-test (Time 2) was conducted at both schools. The intervention was repeated at School 2, followed by another post-test (Time 3) at both schools. …

  6. An innovative online HIV/STI prevention programme in higher education: preliminary results NMMU

    The objectives were to determine risky sexual behavioural trends and health promotion needs among students, to develop an online HIV/STI prevention programme utilising the NMMU intranet portal. Descriptive data regarding demographics, sexual behaviour, internet usage and the relevance of various health promotion messages were included in an online questionnaire. Participants' attitude towards risk behaviour was also assessed using ten outcome questions rated on a five-point Likert scale. …

  7. Sexual behaviour and knowledge regarding sexually transmitted infections among undergraduate students in Durban, South Africa

    The objective of this cross-sectional study was to identify the sexual behavior and knowledge of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) amongst 752 undergraduate university students in South Africa, using self-administered questionnaires. More than half reported presently being sexually active, the majority used contraceptives and especially used condoms. Almost a third of the sample, had multiple sexual partners, and more than a quarter of them reported to have sex under the influence of alcohol. …

  8. 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. …

  9. Gender, peer and partner influences on adolescent HIV risk in rural South Africa

    In preparation for a school-based intervention in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, the authors conducted a cross-sectional survey of potential HIV risk factors in youth ages 14–17 (n=983). Boys were significantly more likely than girls to report lifetime sexual activity (37.7% v. 13.8%, P<0.01). Among boys and girls, 46.1% reported condom use at last sex. Discussion of condom use with a partner was the strongest predictor of condom use (boys, odds ratio (OR)=7.39; girls, OR=5.58, P<0.0001). …

  10. The association between school attendance, HIV infection and sexual behaviour among young people in rural South Africa

    Objectives: To investigate whether the prevalence of HIV infection among young people, and sexual behaviours associated with increased HIV risk, are differentially distributed between students and those not attending school or college. Design: A random population sample of unmarried young people (916 males, 1003 females) aged 14–25 years from rural South Africa in 2001. Methods: Data on school attendance and HIV risk characteristics came from structured face-to-face interviews. HIV serostatus was assessed by oral fluid ELISA. …

  11. Gender and sexuality: emerging perspectives from the heterosexual epidemic in South Africa and implications for HIV risk and prevention

    Research shows that gender power inequity in relationships and intimate partner violence places women at enhanced risk of HIV infection. Men who have been violent towards their partners are more likely to have HIV. Men's behaviours show a clustering of violent and risky sexual practices, suggesting important connections. This paper draws on Raewyn Connell's notion of hegemonic masculinity and reflections on emphasized femininities to argue that these sexual, and male violent, practices are rooted in and flow from cultural ideals of gender identities. …

  12. Adolescent HIV: cause for concern in Southern Africa

    There is a substantial burden of HIV infection in adolescents in southern Africa who acquired HIV perinatally. It is evident that they contribute substantially to hospital admissions and in-hospital deaths. There is an urgent need for services that will be able to provide accessible and appropriate HIV testing, counseling, and support, as well as facilitate access to ART and appropriate sexual risk-reduction interventions. …

  13. Young people's understanding of HIV: a qualitative study among school students in Mankweng, South Africa

    This article describes young people's interpretation of HIV, AIDS and sexually transmitted illness in a rural South African community in Mankweng, Limpopo Province. Method: The study was based on 19 focus group discussions with adolescents aged 12-14 years. Results: Our participants had limited knowledge about HIV from a biomedical perspective. Their understanding and interpretations of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases were largely informed by traditional and religious belief systems that explain how and why people contract an illness via sexual intercourse. …

  14. HIV education in South African schools: the dilemma and conflicts of educators

    Educators within the school system are well placed to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge and skills in order for adolescents to be equipped for appropriate sexual decision-making. The aim of this research was to provide an understanding of educators' beliefs, attitudes and behaviours with regard to sexual and reproductive health promotion. Methods: Individual interviews were conducted with 15 educators from demographically diverse high schools in the Western Cape. One-off interviews were conducted with Grade 8 Life Orientation educators and principals. …

  15. Social outcome expectations regarding delayed sexual debut among adolescents in Mankweng, South Africa

    Aims: To describe outcome expectations related to delayed sexual transition, to examine the dimensionality and internal consistency of such expectations, and to examine variations in social outcome expectations across subgroups defined by demographic variables, indicators of socioeconomic status and predictors related to school and educational ambitions. Methods: Data stem from a survey among school students (grades 8-12) in Mankweng, Limpopo, South Africa (n=5,697). …

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