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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Probing the politics of comprehensive sexuality education: ‘Universality’ versus ‘Cultural Sensitivity’: a Dutch–Bangladeshi collaboration on adolescent sexuality education

    As part of Western European development aid policy, comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) is increasingly promoted in resource-poor countries. This paper engages with CSE promotion in Bangladesh funded by the Dutch Government. It unpacks the ‘collaboration’ by looking at how a paradox is played out between the universal ideals underlying a broader transnational rights-approach and the intended cultural sensitivity by adapting CSE to the targeted context. …

  2. Bullying, identity and school performance: evidence from Chile

    This article examines the relationship among bullying, individual’s identity, and school performance in Chile. The results indicate that being a bully or a bully-victim increases the probability of being a low performing student. For the case of victims, our results suggest a heterogeneity according students’ ability, decreasing academic achievement for students with below average ability, but increasing it for very high achieving students. We also found that students claiming to belong to a subculture characterized by a defiant attitude towards authority have lower academic achievement. …

  3. 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. …

  4. 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. …

  5. 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. …

  6. 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. …

  7. 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. …

  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. Condoms in sub-Saharan Africa

    Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is the region with the world’s highest rates of HIV and other sexually transmissible infections (STIs), yet numerous studies show that condom use is generally rare. This suggests a need for a better understanding of how condoms fit within sexual practices and relationships in SSA. This paper seeks to address this need by reviewing research published between the late 1980s and 2011 on use and factors influencing use of male condoms in SSA. …

  10. 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. …

  11. 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. …

  12. 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. …

  13. Customary adolescent sexual practices among the Akha of northern Lao PDR: considerations for public health

    Based on interviews and focus group discussions conducted in northern Laos, this study explores Akha understandings of customary first pre-pubertal sex acts, a thonh thong (‘break through vagina’ [BV]) for girls and yaha heu (‘open foreskin’ [OF]) for boys, which are thought to enable the maturing of bodies into adulthood. The study also examines the practice of a thor ta yang (‘Welcome Guest’) in which sexually initiated girls have sex with male visitors to Akha villages. The study found that many young women experience BV as painful and traumatic. …

  14. Maisha Newsletter December 2011

    Maisha+ focuses on sharing experiences and lessons in reaching out to the hard-to-reach community populations in Sub Saharan African with HIV and AIDS interventions. In this issue: -Towards zero HIV infections, discrimination and AIDS deaths for hard to reach communities -Violence against women contributing to spread of HIV -Supporting Associations of people living with HIV in Uganda -Challenges in addressing traditional beliefs and practices in HIV and AIDS among the Maasai -Working with sexual minorities in Rwanda -Stop the discrimination! -testimony from a victim of assault

  15. Multiculturalism and AIDS: different communities mean different educational messages required

    The multitude of ethnic communities in Canada means different approaches and methods must be used for health education. Canadian AIDS educators have used a range of approaches, including an AIDS bingo game for indigenous populations in northern Manitobaáand AIDS education messages in the streets of Toronto.

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