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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Comprehensive sexuality education, culture and gender: the effect of the cultural setting on a sexuality education programme in Ethiopia

    Comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) is recognised as an effective method of sexual health education, with the school identified as a fitting site of implementation. Its holistic and participatory nature endeavours to develop the knowledge, attitudes and life-skills of students to help them secure their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This qualitative study aimed to better understand aspects of CSE implementation in one context. …

  2. An examination of knowledge, attitudes and practices related to HIV/AIDS prevention in Zimbabwean university students: Comparing intervention program participants and non-participants

    OBJECTIVES: This study represents a comprehensive assessment of differences between participants in an HIV/AIDS prevention program (SHAPE: Sustainability, Hope, Action, Prevention, Education) and non-participants in knowledge, attitudes and practices with a focus on cultural, sociological and economic variables. METHODS: We developed an eight-page questionnaire that was administered to 933 randomly selected students at the University of Zimbabwe. Survey items addressed sexual decision-making, condom use, limiting sexual partners, cultural power dynamics and access to HIV testing. …

  3. Adapting a multifaceted U.S. HIV prevention education program for girls in Ghana

    We adapted a U.S. HIV prevention program to address knowledge gaps and cultural pressures that increase the risk of infection in adolescent Ghanaian girls. The theory-based nine-module HIV prevention program combines didactics and games, an interactive computer program about sugar daddies, and tie-and-dye training to demonstrate an economic alternative to transactional sex. The abstinence-based study was conducted in a church-affiliated junior secondary school in Nsawam, Ghana. Of 61 subjects aged 10-14 in the prevention program, over two thirds were very worried about becoming HIV infected. …

  4. Talk what others think you can’t talk: HIV/AIDS clubs as peer education in Ugandan schools

    In this article, we make the case that HIV/AIDS clubs in Ugandan schools provide valuable information to students who may not have easy access to health services. As one club motto suggests, the clubs ‘talk what others think you can’t talk’. The innovative peer education methods, which include drama, popular culture and community outreach all have great appeal to youth, and provide unique opportunities for female students to raise gender issues and develop leadership skills. …

  5. 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. …

  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. HIV/AIDS educational strategies in private primary schools: a pilot study in Gaborone City, Botswana

    The study was a descriptive survey conducted in 14 private primary schools in Gaborne city in Botswana. A structured and self-administered instrument was used to collect data from 12 head masters out of the 14 headmasters identified to participate in the study. Descriptive statistics was used to report the findings. The results showed that the private primary schools in Gaborone use a variety of HIV/AIDS prevention educational strategies to make primary school pupils aware of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the country. …

  8. Perspectives on intimate partner violence in Swaziland amongst 18–29-year-old men undergoing medical circumcision

    Intimate partner violence (IPV) is perceived as a major contributor to HIV transmission in Swaziland. This exploratory study aimed to develop a culturally-specific understanding of men's perspectives of IPV. Focus group methods were used to gather information from 45 young urban Swazi men who had undergone medical male circumcision. A thematic analysis was conducted focussing on the manifestations of IPV and socio-cultural and economic factors which underpin, circumstances which trigger and social responses to IPV. …

  9. Culturally-adapted and audio-technology assisted HIV/AIDS awareness and education program in rural Nigeria: a cohort study

    This prospective, 14-week cohort study sought to identify changes in HIV knowledge using a culturally-adapted, technology assisted educational approach in three rural Nigerian villages. One group of people were given seminar-based education, while another were given a portable, digial audio technology-based educational program, which drew on the rural culture of oral learning. The majority of the participants were Muslim (99%), male (53.3%) and lacked formal education (55%). HIV knowledge was improved by a larger degree in the technology facilitated group than the seminar-based group. …

  10. Indigenous knowledge of HIV/AIDS among High School students in Namibia

    The study explored the indigenous names for HIV/AIDS and its symptoms. Qualitative data was gathered through focus groups with students from 18 secondary schools across six educational districts. People living with HIV/AIDS were called names meaning prostitute: ihule, butuku bwa sihule, and shikumbu. Names such askibutu bwa masapo (bone disease),katjumba (a young child), kakithi (disease), and shinangele (very thin person) described AIDS. Derogatory names like mbwa (dog), esingahogo (pretender), ekifi (disease), and shinyakwi noyana (useless person) were also used. …

  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. HIV education in South African schools: the dilemma and conflicts of educators

    Educators within the school system are well placed to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge and skills in order for adolescents to be equipped for appropriate sexual decision-making. The aim of this research was to provide an understanding of educators' beliefs, attitudes and behaviours with regard to sexual and reproductive health promotion. Methods: Individual interviews were conducted with 15 educators from demographically diverse high schools in the Western Cape. One-off interviews were conducted with Grade 8 Life Orientation educators and principals. …

  13. A discussion of perceptions of community facilitators from Swaziland, Kenya, Mozambique and Ghana: cultural practices and child protection

    This study is based on data collected from community development facilitators using open-ended questionnaires and group discussions. Four general types of cultural practices were identified by interviewees as posing risks to children and challenges to child protection work: marriage practices, rites of passage or rituals, family secrets and religious or spiritual practices. …

  14. 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. …

  15. Delaying sexual debut amongst out-of-school youth in rural southwest Uganda

    This paper focuses on sexual debut among out-of-school youth in Masaka District, Uganda; factors influencing its timing; and assistance young people feel they need to delay sexual initiation. Data were drawn from a needs assessment using applied anthropological techniques with young people ages 13-19 years. Parents, guardians, and community leaders were also consulted. All participants felt that young people begin their sexual lives too early. Young men feel under pressure from friends and older men to prove their masculinity. …

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