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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Women and HIV in the twenty-first century: how can we reach the UN 2030 goal?

    Women have always been part of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. As with other populations affected by HIV, for many years the only prevention strategy available was behavior change. Behavioral interventions for women were developed and evaluated, with some success. Because women did not control the use of male condoms, efficacious interventions needed to build skills for partner negotiation. …

  2. Educating women about HIV/AIDS: some international comparisons

    This paper describes current trends in the HIV/AIDS epidemic. It looks at issues and strategies involved in educating women about HIV/AIDS in the context of the global pandemic, focusing particularly on Canada and Vietnam. These strategies are essential steps in preventing the spread of HIV and in caring for those who have already developed AIDS. …

  3. Education, HIV, and early fertility: experimental evidence from Kenya

    A seven-year randomized evaluation suggests education subsidies reduce adolescent girls’ dropout, pregnancy, and marriage but not sexually transmitted infection (STI). The government’s HIV curriculum, which stresses abstinence until marriage, does not reduce pregnancy or STI. Both programs combined reduce STI more, but cut dropout and pregnancy less, than education subsidies alone. …

  4. Effect of a cash transfer programme for schooling on prevalence of HIV and herpes simplex type 2 in Malawi: a cluster randomised trial

    Lack of education and an economic dependence on men are often suggested as important risk factors for HIV infection in women. The authors assessed the efficacy of a cash transfer programme for schooling to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections in young women. Based on their findings the authors conclude that cash transfer programmes can reduce HIV and HSV-2 infections in adolescent schoolgirls in low-income settings. Structural interventions that do not directly target sexual behaviour change can be important components of HIV prevention strategies.

  5. 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). …

  6. The cost and cost-effectiveness of gender-responsive interventions for HIV: a systematic review

    Introduction: Harmful gender norms and inequalities, including gender-based violence, are important structural barriers to effective HIV programming. We assess current evidence on what forms of gender-responsive intervention may enhance the effectiveness of basic HIV programmes and be cost-effective. Methods: Effective intervention models were identified from an existing evidence review (“what works for women”). Based on this, we conducted a systematic review of published and grey literature on the costs and cost-effectiveness of each intervention identified. …

  7. 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 …

  8. 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. …

  9. 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. …

  10. Inclusion of adolescent girls in HIV prevention research - an imperative for an AIDS-free generation

    Recent scientific advances centred on the use of anti-retrovirals (ARVs) – both prophylactically to prevent HIV acquisition (pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP) and for treatment to minimize onward transmission (treatment as prevention, or TasP) – have led to a new-found optimism for control of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the possibility of creating an “AIDS-free generation”. In order to translate this optimism into reality, large and sustained reductions in incident HIV infections are required. …

  11. Gender inequality and HIV transmission: a global analysis

    Introduction: The HIV pandemic disproportionately impacts young women. Worldwide, young women aged 15–24 are infected with HIV at rates twice that of young men, and young women alone account for nearly a quarter of all new HIV infections. The incommensurate HIV incidence in young – often poor – women underscores how social and economic inequalities shape the HIV epidemic. Confluent social forces, including political and gender violence, poverty, racism, and sexism impede equal access to therapies and effective care, but most of all constrain the agency of women. …

  12. Emma says: A case study of the use of comics for health education among women in the AIDS heartland

    The purpose of this paper is to examine one mass media AIDS education project, the Emma Says comic series. Created by an international health research organization based in the USA, the series was designed to educate women in rural Africa about the need to protect themselves from AIDS. The Emma Says series aimed to deliver powerful messages about AIDS in an easy-to-understand format using the caricature of an African woman working as a health educator in her community. …

  13. 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. …

  14. 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. …

  15. Assessment of comprehensive HIV/AIDS knowledge level among in-school adolescents in eastern Ethiopia

    This study tries to assess the level of comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS and the factors associated with it among in-school adolescents in eastern Ethiopia. The reason for this study is that there are more adolescents in school today, in Ethiopia, than ever before. This is a cross-sectional school-based study in which respondents were students attending regular school in 14 high schools located in 14 different districts of eastern Ethiopia. The proportion of in-school adolescents with comprehensive HIV/AIDS knowledge was computed and compared by sex. …

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