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This brief discusses the effectiveness of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in preventing HIV, and lists key findings and recommendations. It concludes that CSE is effective in decreasing HIV risk factors in adolescents and young people, and improving SRH in general, including creating demand for SRH services. When programmes are designed with a gender, empowerment and rights focus, along with appropriately trained staff to deliver CSE through participatory learning approaches, beneficial outcomes have been demonstrated on knowledge, attitudes, self-efficacy and SRH outcomes.
This paper discusses the limitations of conventional Information, Education and Communication (IEC) approaches to HIV prevention and describes Stepping Stones, one approach which 1) is more holistic in recognising the location of HIV in a broader sexual and reproductive health (SRH) context; 2) emphasises the importance of a gendered perspective throughout; and 3) works on the basis that, with good facilitation, ordinary community members are those most able to develop the best solutions for their own sexual health needs.