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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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. …

  2. Impact of a School-based Peer Sexual Health Intervention on Normative Beliefs, Risk Perceptions, and Sexual Behavior of Zambian Adolescents

    To determine whether adolescents’ normative beliefs about abstinence and condoms, their personal risk perception, and safer sex practices changed after the implementation of a peer sexual health education intervention implemented in Zambian secondary schools.

  3. 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. …

  4. Teacher training and HIV/AIDS prevention in West Africa: regression discontinuity design evidence from the Cameroon

    The authors assess the impact on teenage childbearing as well as student knowledge, attitudes, and behavior of a typical HIV/AIDS teacher training program in the Cameroon. Applying a regression discontinuity design identification strategy based on the key administrative criterion that determined program deployment, they find that 15–17 year old girls in teacher training schools are between 7 and 10 percentage points less likely to have started childbearing, an objective proxy for the incidence of unprotected sex. …

  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. HIV and incarceration: prisons and detention

    The high prevalence of HIV infection among prisoners and pre-trial detainees, combined with overcrowding and sub-standard living conditions sometimes amounting to inhuman or degrading treatment in violation of international law, make prisons and other detention centres a high risk environment for the transmission of HIV. Ultimately, this contributes to HIV epidemics in the communities to which prisoners return upon their release. …

  7. 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. …

  8. 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. …

  9. If you don't abstain, you will die of AIDS: AIDS education in Kenyan public schools

    We explored constraints of implementing AIDS education in public schools in Kenya. Sixty interviews with teachers and 60 focus group discussions with students were conducted in 21 primary and nine secondary schools. System/school-level constraints included lack of time in the curriculum, limited reach of secondary-school students (because AIDS education is embedded in biology, which is not compulsory), and disapproval of openness about sex and condoms by the Ministry of Education and parents. Alternative strategies to teach about AIDS had their own constraints. …

  10. 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. …

  11. Effectiveness of peer education interventions for HIV prevention in developing countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    Peer education for HIV prevention has been widely implemented in developing countries, yet the effectiveness of this intervention has not been systematically evaluated. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of peer education interventions in developing countries published between January 1990 and November 2006. Standardized methods of searching and data abstraction were utilized. Merged effect sizes were calculated using random effects models. Thirty studies were identified. …

  12. Linking sexual and reproductive health and HIV interventions: a systematic review

    Background: The international community agrees that the Millennium Development Goals will not be achieved without ensuring universal access to both sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support. Recently, there has been increasing awareness and discussion of the possible benefits of linkages between SRH and HIV programmes at the policy, systems and service delivery levels. However, the evidence for the efficacy of these linkages has not been systematically assessed. …

  13. Efficacy of a theory-based abstinence-only intervention over 24 months: A randomized controlled trial with young adolescents

    Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of an abstinence-only intervention in preventing sexual involvement in young adolescents. Design:Randomized controlled trial. Setting: Urban public schools. Participants:A total of 662 African American students in grades 6 and 7. …

  14. A surprising prevention success: Why did the HIV epidemic decline in Zimbabwe?

    There is growing recognition that primary prevention, including behavior change, must be central in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The earlier successes in Thailand and Uganda may not be fully relevant to the severely affected countries of southern Africa. We conducted an extensive multi-disciplinary synthesis of the available data on the causes of the remarkable HIV decline that has occurred in Zimbabwe (29% estimated adult prevalence in 1997 to 16% in 2007), in the context of severe social, political, and economic disruption. …

  15. 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. …

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