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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Rwandan young people's perceptions on sexuality and relationships: Results from a qualitative study using the ‘mailbox technique’

    This study aimed to gain more insight into young Rwandans' perceptions on sex and relationships, which is essential for formulating effective sexual and reproductive health (SRH) promotion interventions. Using a 'mailbox technique', this paper studies the spontaneous thoughts of Rwandan young people on sexuality. Mailboxes were installed in five secondary schools in the Bugesera district and students were invited to write about their ideas, secrets, wishes, desires and fears on sexuality and relationships. Of the 186 letters collected, 154 addressed SRH topics. …

  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. The Government of Kenya’s Cash Transfer Program Reduces the Risk of Sexual Debut among Young People Age 15-25

    The aim of this study is to assess whether the Government of Kenya’s Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (Kenya CT-OVC) can reduce the risk of HIV among young people by postponing sexual debut. The program provides an unconditional transfer of US$20 per month directly to the main caregiver in the household. An evaluation of the program was implemented in 2007–2009 in seven districts. Fourteen Locations were randomly assigned to receive the program and fourteen were assigned to a control arm. A sample of households was enrolled in the evaluation in 2007. …

  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. 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. …

  7. Effectiveness of HIV prevention for youth in sub-Saharan Africa: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized and nonrandomized trials

    Objective: Systematically assess the effectiveness of HIV-prevention interventions in changing sexual behaviour of young people (10–25 years) in sub-Saharan Africa. Methods: Three online databases were searched using prespecified terms. Additional articles were identified on websites of international organizations and by searching bibliographies. Randomized and nonrandomized trials of interventions aiming to reduce risk behaviour were included as well as single-arm studies reporting effects of differential exposure to an intervention. …

  8. Adolescent pregnancy and associated factors in South African youth

    Background: Adolescent pregnancy, occurring in girls aged 10–19 years, remains a serious health and social problem worldwide, and has been associated with numerous risk factors evident in the young people’s family, peer, school, and neighbourhood contexts. Objective: To assess the prevalence of adolescent pregnancy and associated factors in the South African context, as part of a population-based household survey that formed part of an evaluation of the impact of loveLife, South Africa’s national HIV prevention campaign for young people. …

  9. Young people's sexual health in South Africa: HIV prevalence and sexual behaviors from a nationally representative household surevy

    Objectives: To determine the prevalence of HIV infection, HIV risk factors, and exposure to national HIV prevention programs, and to identify factors associated with HIV infection among South African youth, aged 15–24 years. Design: A cross-sectional, nationally representative, household survey. Methods: From March to August 2003 we conducted a national survey of HIV prevalence and sexual behavior among 11 904 15–24 year olds. Multivariable models for HIV infection were restricted to sexually experienced youth. …

  10. Effectiveness of a peer-led HIV prevention intervention in secondary schools in Rwanda: results from a non-randomized controlled trial

    While the HIV epidemic is levelling off in sub-Saharan Africa, it remains at an unacceptably high level. Young people aged 15-24 years remain particularly vulnerable, resulting in a regional HIV prevalence of 1.4% in young men and 3.3% in young women. This study assesses the effectiveness of a peer-led HIV prevention intervention in secondary schools in Rwanda on young people’s sexual behavior, HIV knowledge and attitudes. In a non-randomized longitudinal controlled trial, fourteen schools were selected in two neighboring districts in Rwanda Bugesera (intervention) and Rwamagana (control). …

  11. Impact of school-based HIV prevention program in post-conflict Liberia

    This paper presents findings of a feasibility study to adapt and evaluate the impact of an evidence-based HIV prevention intervention on sexual risk behaviors of in-school 6th grade youth in post-conflict Liberia (n = 812). The study used an attention-matched, group randomized controlled trial. Four matched pairs of elementary/middle schools in Monrovia, Liberia, were randomly assigned to either an adapted eight-module HIV prevention or a general health curriculum. Three- and nine-month impacts of the intervention on sexual risk behaviors and on mediating variables are presented. …

  12. Scrutinize campaign: a youth HIV prevention campaign addressing multiple and concurrent partnerships

    Launched on South African television in June 2008, the Scrutinize Campaign was a year-long series of HIV prevention ads targeting multiple and concurrent sexual partnerships. Irreverent and humorous, with strong, colorful visuals, the campaign's ads were markedly different from previous South African HIV prevention campaigns for youth. Rather than telling the audience what to do, the Scrutinize campaign messaging encouraged those in the audience to scrutinize their own behavior, resulting in dramatic uptake of key HIV prevention messages.

  13. Multiple sexual partners and condom use among 10-19 year-olds in four districts in Tanzania: What do we learn?

    This study tested a hypothesis that sexual relationships with multiple partners in the 10- to 19-year age group spurs condom use during sex. The authors performed secondary analysis using data from the adolescent module of the cross-sectional household survey on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) that was done in Kigoma, Kilombero, Rufiji and Ulanga districts, Tanzania in 2008. A total of 612 adolescents from a random sample of 1,200 households participated in this study. Pearson Chi-Square was used as a test of association between multiple sexual partners and condom use. …

  14. HIV-related knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and practices of young people in Cross River State and Kogi State, Nigeria

    Communication for Change (C-Change) works around the world to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of social and behavior change communication (SBCC) across program areas, including health, environment, economic growth and poverty alleviation, and democracy and governance. In Nigeria, C-Change supports health and HIV prevention objectives of the USAID Mission. The project is building SBCC capacity for country-driven interventions that aim to prevent new HIV infections, reduce HIV prevalence among high-risk groups, and stabilize HIV prevalence within the general population. …

  15. Stay healthy: a gender-transformative HIV prevention curriculum for youth in Namibia

    The overall goal of Stay Healthy: A Gender-Transformative HIV Prevention Curriculum for Youth in Namibia is to prevent HIV infection among Namibian youth aged 13-18. Stay Healthy focuses on changing three key behaviors directly related to HIV infection by accomplishing the following: (1) delaying the onset of sexual intercourse, (2) increasing the correct and consistent use of the male condom among sexually active youth, and (3) decreasing multiple concurrent partners among sexually active youth. …

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