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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Facing the challenge of adolescent pregnancy in Zimbabwe

    This booklet presents the current status of adolescent pregnancy in Zimbabwe; explains the drivers and psycho-social, economic, development and health costs of adolescent pregnancy; offers recommendations for addressing adolescent pregnancy and leveraging demographic dividend in promoting socio-economic growth.

  2. 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. …

  3. Caught in culture? Cultural transformation through HIV/AIDS prevention education in Zambia

    The study explores the role and contribution of education in developing a localized and relevant HIV/AIDS prevention strategy through a multi-voiced approach, involving the educational institutions, as well as the traditional leaders, community-members, including parents. The study comprised all public schools in one Zambian province from 2002-2008. The study explores, among other factors, the role of traditional culture in mitigating and exacerbating the spread of the disease. …

  4. 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. …

  5. Charting the future: empowering girls to prevent early pregnancy

    This report begins with a situation analysis of adolescent pregnancy (Section 2), highlighting where today’s adolescents live and where their fertility levels are highest, as well as looking at the drivers of their fertility rates. Section 3 provides a more detailed discussion of the multiple barriers that girls face in controlling their fertility. Section 4 presents our conclusions about the main drivers of adolescent pregnancy and introduces our policy and programming recommendations, which can be found in Section 5. …

  6. Women living with HIV speak out against violence: A collection of essays and reflections of women living with and affected by HIV

    Violence against women and girls is an unacceptable violation of basic human rights. It also is so widespread that ending it must be a global public health priority. An estimated one in three women is beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused by an intimate partner during her lifetime. Intimate partner violence has been shown to increase the risk of HIV infection by around 50%, and violence (and the fear of violence) deters women and girls from seeking services for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

  7. Nurturing enabling environments for culturally appropriate HIV and AIDS policies through informed public dialogue the case of Botswana and Zambia

    As part of UNESCO’s strategy to respond to the global HIV and AIDS epidemic, the Culture, HIV and AIDS program works to support the development of culturally appropriate policies and programming that are gender-responsive, human-rights based and built on a thorough analysis of the cultural and social specificities of those communities concerned. UNESCO’s ‘official’ definition of culture as contained in the UNESCO Mexico City Declaration on Cultural Policies (1982) reads as following: “a set of distinctive spiritual and material, intellectual and emotional characteristics which define a soci …

  8. 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. …

  9. 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. …

  10. Efficacy of an American alcohol and hiv prevention curriculum adapted for use in South Africa: results of a pilot study in five township schools

    The high prevalence of HIV among young people in African countries underscores a pressing need for effective prevention interventions. Adapting school–based prevention programs developed in the United States for use in African schools may present an alternative to the time–consuming process of developing home–grown programs. The researchers report the results of a pretest–posttest field trial of an alcohol/ HIV prevention curriculum adapted from an American model and delivered to ninth-grade students in five South African township schools. …

  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. 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.

  13. Turning a crisis into an opportunity: Strategies for scaling up the national response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Lesotho

    The way we interpret and understand HIV/AIDS influences our choice for programmatic interventions. Therefore, this report begins by providing conceptual starting points for a comprehensive understanding of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Chapter 1 sets the national historic context, which serves as a backdrop to the heritage which we seek to preserve, and the will of the people to win. …

  14. 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. …

  15. When Girls' Lives Matter: Ending Forced and Early Marriage in Cameroon

    The past decade has witnessed a dramatic increase in awareness about early and forced marriage of girls as a widespread violation of human rights. In short, early and forced marriage exacerbate gender inequality and the likelihood of poor outcomes throughout life. Combining public education about the negative effects of early and forced marriage with positive preventive strategies is valuable. The Association for the Struggle Against Violence Against Women (ALVF) in Cameroon is one such example. …

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