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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Coming of age in the classroom: religious and cultural barriers to comprehensive sexuality education

    This paper elucidates evidence which underscores anxieties and panic about sexuality and sexual behaviour of young people influenced by movements advancing a distinct religious identity, and the implications for advocacy on advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). Synthesised in this document is evidence from two countries - Bangladesh and India - on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), an area of controversy (to varying degree) in both countries. Evidence from each country stem from national studies on the influence of religion on CSE, and are qualitative in nature. …

  2. SMS 4 SRH: Using mobile phones to reduce barriers to youth access to sexual and reproductive health services and information

    This summary report provides an overview of how mHealth programming may be used to improve youth access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and information. The report frames the discussion of mHealth through an examination of the specific barriers that limit youth access to them. The barriers identified have been divided into four categories: - Accessibility Barriers, including cost and location. - Information Barriers, including lack of SRH information and lack of location information. …

  3. A Cultural approach to HIV/AIDS prevention and care: UNESCO/UNAIDS research project. Uganda’s experience: country report

    This document provides the findings of a country assessment carried out in Uganda in the first phase of the UNESCO/UNAIDS joint project "A Cultural Approach to HIV/AIDS: Prevention and Care". The purpose of this exercise was threefold: (i) to assess the evolution of the epidemic (HIV infection and PWA) and its cultural and societal impact in the context and perspective of sustainable development. (ii) to determine how and to which extent culture, features and resources of the population are being taken into consideration in the design, implementation and evaluation of HIV/AIDS interventions. …

  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. 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. …

  6. Experiences in socio-cultural approaches to HIV prevention education and empowerment in the Caribbean

    This booklet gives a snap shot of the different socio-cultural approaches to HIV/AIDS prevention in the Caribbean. It presents edu-drama, theatre in education and other alternative media interventions that are geared towards empowering youth, their parents and community leaders to live a healthy lifestyle and create a safe environment within their communities.

  7. Dating and sex among emerging adults in Nepal

    Social and cultural changes in Nepal, including better communication facilities and transport, more urbanization and a rising age at which people marry, have created more opportunities for young people for “dating.” This qualitative study explores whether the existence of dating cultures influences young people’s sexual behavior in Nepal. Focus group discussions with a total of 75 participants and 31 in-depth individual interviews were conducted among young people in Nepal. Most urban and rural young people liked the dating culture. …

  8. Minding the gap in Alexandria: Talking to girls in schools about reproductive health

    Reproductive health (RH) is one of the cornerstones of an individual’s health and well-being, and an important component of a country’s human social development. Limited access to RH information among female adolescents can increase their vulnerability to health problems. Therefore, it is important to provide them with accurate and age-appropriate information. In the Middle East and North Africa, cultural norms dictate that girls should not be exposed to information about RH until they are married. …

  9. Sexuality education approaches: what would be applicable to North of Africa and Middle East?

    In this paper, Middle East and North of Africa are not presented from demographic dimension, rather from cultural one, where the most dominant religion is is Islam. Consequently, the paper will discuss applicability of sex education approaches from Islamic perspectives but within the Middle East and North of Africa context.

  10. Overlooked and at Risk: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth in the Caribbean

    As long as criminalization of homosexuality and stigma, discrimination and violence against LGBT individuals continues in the Caribbean, the emotional and physical health of LGBT young people is at risk. All young people have the right to be treated equally under the law and to live free of discrimination and harassment. Organizations, governments, and individuals must work toward full acceptance and recognition of LGBT people, including young people.

  11. Young people's understanding of HIV: a qualitative study among school students in Mankweng, South Africa

    This article describes young people's interpretation of HIV, AIDS and sexually transmitted illness in a rural South African community in Mankweng, Limpopo Province. Method: The study was based on 19 focus group discussions with adolescents aged 12-14 years. Results: Our participants had limited knowledge about HIV from a biomedical perspective. Their understanding and interpretations of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases were largely informed by traditional and religious belief systems that explain how and why people contract an illness via sexual intercourse. …

  12. I am not "umqwayito'': a qualitative study of peer pressure and sexual risk behaviour among young adolescents in Cape Town, South Africa

    Young people in South Africa are susceptible to HIV infection. They are vulnerable to peer pressure to have sex, but little is known about how peer pressure operates. The aim of the study was to understand how negative peer pressure increases high risk sexual behaviour among young adolescents in Cape Town, South Africa. Qualitative research methods were used. Eight focus groups were conducted with young people between the ages of 13 and 14 years. …

  13. HIV/AIDS in Armenia: a socio-cultural approach

    This publication presents the full-length review of the current situation of the epidemic in Armenia from a socio-cultural perspective.

  14. Knowledge, attitudes and practices concerning HIV/AIDS among Iranian at-risk sub-populations

    This study in 2003 looked at knowledge, attitudes and behaviours concerning HIV among 3 high-risk groups (201 cross-border truck drivers, 50 female sex workers and 754 youths) in 4 cities in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The level of knowledge about HIV was low on average, especially among individuals with high-risk behaviours. Truck drivers and female sex workers had higher knowledge about sexually transmitted infections than youths but their knowledge came primarily from personal experience rather than public awareness programmes. …

  15. We are all in the same boat! Using art and creativity approaches with young people to tackle hiv-related stigma

    This toolkit is a set of ideas on how to use art and creative approaches to build a new understanding about HIV stigma and human rights, and on how young people can work together to challenge stigma and discrimination. The toolkit uses different art forms and creative activities - drama and role playing, games, drumming, dance, puppets, story telling, pictures, drawing and collages - to spark new thinking about HIV stigma, change attitudes and challenge young people to do something. …

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