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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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.

  2. Population Brief

    Articles from this issue : Making sexuality and HIV education programs more effective | Reducing adolescent girls’ vulnerability to sexual violence in sub-Saharan Africa | Developing a highly acceptable contraceptive vaginal ring | Creating a database of HIV prevention clinical trial terminology and translations.

  3. What HIV programs work for adolescent girls?

    Background: Adolescent girls face unique challenges in reducing their risk of acquiring HIV because of gender inequalities, but much of HIV programming and evaluation lacks a specific focus on female adolescents. Methods: This article, based on a review of 150 studies and evaluations from 2001 to June 2013, reviews evidence on programming for adolescents that is effective for girls or could be adapted to be effective for girls. Results: The evidence suggests specific interventions for adolescent girls across 3 critical areas: (1) an enabling environment, including keeping girls in school …

  4. Strengthening the enabling environment for women and girls: what is the evidence in social and structural approaches in the HIV response?

    There is growing interest in expanding public health approaches that address social and structural drivers that affect the environment in which behaviour occurs. Half of those living with HIV infection are women. The sociocultural and political environment in which women live can enable or inhibit their ability to protect themselves from acquiring HIV. …

  5. Preventing sexual violence and HIV in children

    BACKGROUND: Evidence linking violence against women and HIV has grown, including on the cycle of violence and the links between violence against children and women. To create an effective response to the HIV epidemic, it is key to prevent sexual violence against children and intimate partner violence (IPV) against adolescent girls. …

  6. 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). …

  7. Inviting Backchat: How schools and communities in Ghana, Swaziland and Kenya support children to contextualise knowledge and create agency through sexuality education

    Education about sex, relationships and HIV and AIDS in African contexts is riddled with socio-cultural complexity. In this paper the authors argue that in extreme contexts education can lead change further by developing young people as significant actors in their own lives and in the lives of the community by bringing about change in attitudes in the community, as well as practices in schools. …

  8. ‘‘AIDS is rape!’’ Gender and sexuality in children’s responses to HIV and AIDS

    This paper examines young African school children’s understanding of HIV and AIDS. Based on focus group interviews with children aged 7–8 in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa, it explores the ways in which gender and sexuality feature in their responses to the disease. Data were collected between 2003 and 2004 through 26 focus groups involving 55 boys and 64 girls. The paper argues that younger children are active agents in giving meaning to the disease. …

  9. If I buy the Kellogg’s then he should [buy] the milk: young women’s perspectives on relationship dynamics, gender power and HIV risk in Johannesburg, South Africa

    Ideals of masculinity and femininity may limit South African women's decision making power in relationships and increase their risk of HIV infection. The authors conducted 30 in-depth interviews with 18-24-year-old women in inner-city Johannesburg with the aim of understanding young women's expectations of intimate relationships with men, their perceptions of gender and power and how this influences HIV risk. …

  10. 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. …

  11. Postgraduate educational research on violence, gender, and HIV/AIDS in and around schools (1995-2004)

    Social issues such as HIV/AIDS, bullying, and violence have recently come to the fore in schooling and related research in South Africa. This article describes and critically analyses Masters and Ph.D. research done in education in the period 1995–2004, with particular reference to the voice given to social issues, namely: gender, violence, and HIV/AIDS and their interconnectedness. It explores issues, trends, and patterns in research emerging in the first decade of democracy in South Africa.

  12. Women hold up half the sky - and half the burden of the HIV epidemic

    The HIV burden on women is dramatically higher in some regions, certain age groups and among marginalized groups, such as female sex workers. Women’s vulnerability to HIV is exacerbated by gender inequality and domestic violence. The global effort towards elimination of paediatric HIV and keeping mothers alive deserves applause. However, the needs of women go beyond their child-bearing age or potentials and/or reproductive desires and must be recognized in the global HIV agenda. In particular, more female-controlled prevention tools are urgently required to allow women to protect themselves.

  13. Sexual coercion among in-school adolescents in Rwanda: prevalence and correlates of victimization and normative acceptance

    Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to sexual coercion, as victim as well as perpetrator. This paper aims to adapt sexual and reproductive health interventions to the reality of young people’s sexuality and relationships. This study assesses the prevalence of forced sex, characteristics of victims and norms regarding sexual coercion among Rwandan adolescents. A survey was completed by 285 senior secondary school students and four focus groups were conducted. Of sexually active respondents, 15.5% reported forced sexual intercourse. …

  14. National cross sectional study of views on sexual violence and risk of HIV infection and AIDS among South African school pupils

    Objective: To investigate the views of school pupils on sexual violence and on the risk of HIV infection and AIDS and their experiences of sexual violence. Design: National cross sectional study. Setting: 5162 classes in 1418 South African schools. Participants: 269 705 school pupils aged 10-19 years in grades 6-11. Main outcome measure: Answers to questions about sexual violence and about the risk of HIV infection and AIDS. Results: Misconceptions about sexual violence were common among both sexes, but more females held views that would put them at high risk of HIV infection. …

  15. Pasa la Voz (Spread the Word): Using Women's Social Networks for HIV Education and Testing

    Pasa la Voz (spread the word) is a methodology used to prevent HIV using respondent-driven sampling to reach hard to access women. An organization in Ciudad Juarez (Programa Companeros) initiated a one-to-one approach to reaching at-risk and hard to reach women in the area using promotoras (outreach workers) from September 2005 to January 2006. The implementation of Pasa la Voz came on its heels and had success in increasing the number of women agreeing to get tested for HIV (11.9% to 49.9%) and decreasing testing time from 22.70 hours to 3.68 hours per test.

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