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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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. …

  2. Conflicting discourses of church youths on masculinity and sexuality in the context of HIV in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

    Masculinity studies are fairly new and young churchgoers are an under-researched group in the current Congolese church context. In response to this knowledge gap, this paper attempts to explore discourses of young churchgoers from deprived areas of Kinshasa regarding masculinity and sexuality in the era of HIV. A series of 16 semi-structured interviews were conducted with unmarried young churchgoers from the Salvation Army, Protestant and Revival churches. The interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using discourse analysis. …

  3. Preventing HIV transmission in adolescents: an analysis of the Portuguese data from the Health Behaviour School-aged Children study and focus groups

    This research examined demographic, personal, family and school variables related to adolescents’ sexual behaviour and attitudes towards HIV/AIDS infected people. This research was also designed to understand the cognitive and emotional bases of the sexual decisions made by adolescents. Preventive research must explore how young people understand, manage and explore their sexuality, risk and relationships.

  4. Gender Dynamics and Sexual Norms among Youth in Mali in the Context of HIV/AIDS Prevention

    Socially constructed ideas of gender norms and values attached to sexuality need to be considered when aiming to build the young people’s capacity to adopt HIV preventive behaviours. We conducted ten focus groups and sixteen individual interviews to explore sexual norms among youth in Bamako. Premarital sex, multiple partnering, condom use and transactional sex were discussed. The findings suggest that young people’s sexual norms are shaped by kin or authoritative elders as well as by external influences coming from Western culture. …

  5. 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. …

  6. Knowledge, Behaviour, Perceptions and Attitudes of University of Ghana Students towards HIV/AIDS: What does Behavioural Surveillance Survey Tell us?

    This study assesses knowledge, attitudes and behaviour in respect of risk of HIV infection of students through behavioral surveillance survey. The study used the systematic sampling approach to select 375 students. Interviews and focus group discussions were conducted to solicit information from respondents. The study found out that the students engaged in pre-marital sex, although this was more common among the male than female students. Students did not use condoms consistently and were not likely to use condoms when the relationship was considered as stable because of trust. …

  7. 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. …

  8. Education and risky sex in Africa: Unraveling the link between women’s education and reproductive health behaviors in Kenya

    Much research attention has been devoted to understanding the relationship between education and riskier sex-related behaviors and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. While in the early 1990s researchers found that increases in education were associated with a higher incidence of HIV/AIDS, this relationship appears to have reversed and better educated people, especially women, appear less likely to engage in riskier sex-related behaviors and have a lower incidence rate of HIV/AIDS. …

  9. Masculinities and condom use patterns among young rural South Africa men: a cross-sectional baseline survey

    Notions of ideal manhood in South Africa are potentially prescriptive of male sexuality thus accounting for the behaviors which may lead to men being at greater HIV risk. We tested the hypothesis that gender and relationship constructs are associated with condom use among young men living in rural South Africa. 1219 men aged 15–26 years completed a cross-sectional baseline survey from an IsiXhosa questionnaire asking about sexual behaviour and relationships. …

  10. The sexual behaviour of adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa: patterns and trends from national surveys

    Objectives: To describe the sexual and reproductive behaviour of adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly 15- to 19-year-olds. Methods: Using DHS/AIS data (2000–2010), nine indicators of adolescent behaviour and one of adult attitudes towards condom education for adolescents were described for 24 countries. Indicators were disaggregated by gender, urban/rural residency and educational status, and time trends were described. Results: Up to 25% of 15- to 19-year-olds reported sex before age 15; this proportion shrank over time in many countries. …

  11. 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). …

  12. Correlates of intention to use condoms among Sub-Saharan African youth: the applicability of the theory of planned behaviour

    Aims: To test the applicability of an extended version of the theory of planned behaviour for the study of condom use intentions among large samples of young people in South Africa and Tanzania. Methods: Baseline data of a randomized controlled trial of school-based HIV/AIDS prevention programmes were used. The setting comprised secondary schools in the regions of Cape Town, Polokwane and Dar es Salaam. Participants were 15,782 secondary school students. …

  13. Globalization, public policy, and 'knowledge gap': Ethiopian youth and the HIV/AIDS pandemic

    Set against trans- or supra-national policy initiatives which have framed the HIV/ AIDS pandemic as in part a pedagogical issue, this paper critically explores local understandings of sexual practices (generally) as well as of HIV/AIDS (more specifically) among young people in the sub-Saharan African country of Ethiopia. Ethiopia has the third largest number of HIV/AIDS infections in the world, behind only South Africa and India. …

  14. Intimate partner violence, relationship power inequity, and incidence of HIV infection in young women in South Africa: a cohort study

    Cross-sectional studies have shown that intimate partner violence and gender inequity in relationships are associated with increased prevalence of HIV in women. Yet temporal sequence and causality have been questioned, and few HIV prevention programmes address these issues. The article assessed whether intimate partner violence and relationship power inequity increase risk of incident HIV infection in South African women. …

  15. HIV and emergencies: one size does not fit all

    The dynamics and impact of HIV in humanitarian crises are complex. They depend on the kind of crisis: is it the result of conflict, a rapid-onset natural disaster (such as a flood or cyclone), or a slow-onset emergency caused by drought or environmental degradation? It also depends on the HIV prevalence rate before the crisis, the political situation, the scale and duration of the crisis, the existing infrastructure and services and the level of awareness of HIV. Case studies from five countries facing very different emergencies and HIV prevalence rates were backed by a literature review. …

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