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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Interventions to prevent sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, among young people in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review of the published and gray literature

    Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, are prevalent among adolescents and can have lasting adverse health consequences. The objective of this review is to identify high-quality interventions and evaluations to decrease STI transmission and related risky behaviors among young people in low- and middle-income countries. PubMed, Embase, PsycInfo, Cinahl Plus, Popline, and the Cochrane Databases were searched without language limitations for articles published through November 2015. Gray literature was searched by hand. …

  2. 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. …

  3. Lessons learned from a review of interventions for adolescent and young key populations in Asia Pacific and opportunities for programming

    BACKGROUND: Over a third of new HIV infections globally are among 15-24 year-olds and over 20% among adolescents aged 10-19 years in Asia Pacific. The review was initiated to identify interventions in the region with demonstrated or potential impact for adolescent and young key populations (YKP) looking at the role of individual and structural factors in accessibility and delivery. The review is a component of a more comprehensive review undertaken by UNICEF and partners in the region. METHODS:This was a desk review of over 1000 articles, and 37 were selected. …

  4. Effective approaches for programming to reduce adolescent vulnerability to HIV infection, HIV risk, and HIV-related morbidity and mortality: A systematic review of systematic reviews

    Background: In 2012, an estimated 2.1 million adolescents were living with HIV. Though there are effective interventions to prevent and treat HIV infection, adolescents face specific barriers in accessing them. As a result, new infections and poor outcomes among HIV-infected adolescents are common. HIV programming for adolescents should focus on interventions of proven effectiveness and address underlying factors driving incidence and lack of effective treatment and care in this age group. …

  5. 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. …

  6. 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. …

  7. Sex and HIV education programs: Their impact on sexual behaviors of young people throughout the world

    This paper reviews 83 studies that measure the impact of curriculum-based sex and HIV education programs on sexual behavior and mediating factors among youth under 25 years anywhere in the world. Two thirds of the programs significantly improved one or more sexual behaviors. The evidence is strong that programs do not hasten or increase sexual behavior but, instead, some programs delay or decrease sexual behaviors or increase condom or contraceptive use. …

  8. 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. …

  9. The association between sex education and youth’s engagement in sexual intercourse, age at first intercourse, and birth control use at first sex

    Purpose: Sex education is intended to provide youth with the information and skills needed to make healthy and informed decisions about sex. This study examined whether exposure to formal sex education is associated with three sexual behaviors: ever had sexual intercourse, age at first episode of sexual intercourse, and use of birth control at first intercourse. Methods: Data used were from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth, a nationally representativesurvey. The sample included 2019 never-married males and females aged 15–19 years. …

  10. 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. …

  11. 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. …

  12. 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. …

  13. 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. …

  14. 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. …

  15. 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). …

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