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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. A time for global action: addressing girls' menstrual hygiene management needs in schools

    Summary Points: There is an absence of guidance, facilities, and materials for schoolgirls to manage their menstruation in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Formative evidence has raised awareness that poor menstrual hygiene management (MHM) contributes to inequity, increasing exposure to transactional sex to obtain sanitary items, with some evidence of an effect on school indicators and with repercussions for sexual, reproductive, and general health throughout the life course. …

  2. Cash transfers: magic bullet or fundamental ingredient?

    Comment on a study published in The Lancet Global Health by Audrey Pettifor and colleagues on cash transfers, school attendance and the reduction of HIV risk behaviours in adolescent girls.

  3. Accessing the ‘right’ kinds of material and symbolic capital: the role of cash transfers in reducing adolescent school absence and risky behaviour in South Africa

    This article investigates how well South Africa’s Child Support Grant (CSG) responds to the material and psychosocial needs of adolescents, and the resultant effects on schooling and risky behaviour. One driver of schooling decisions is shame related to poverty and the ‘social cost’ of school, where a premium must often be paid for fashionable clothes or accessories. The other driver relates to symbolic and consumptive capital gained through engaging in sexual exchange relationships. The anticipated impacts from the CSG are partial because of these non-material drivers of adolescent choices. …

  4. Risk for coerced sex among female youth in Ghana: Roles of family context, school enrollment and relationship experience

    CONTEXT: A better understanding is needed of the variables that may influence the risk of experiencing coerced sex among adolescent females in Sub-Saharan Africa. METHODS: Data were collected from 700 female respondents who were interviewed in 2010 and 2012 waves of a longitudinal study of behavioral risk for HIV infection among youth aged 13–14 or 18–19 and living in two towns in southeastern Ghana. …

  5. 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. …

  6. Does Education Affect HIV Status? Evidence from five African Countries

    Data from the first five Demographic and Health Surveys to include HIV testing for a representative sample of the adult population are used to analyze the socioeconomic correlates of HIV infection and associated sexual behavior. Emerging from a wealth of country relevant results, some important findings can be generalized. First, successive marriages are a significant risk factor. Second, contrary to prima facie evidence, education is not positively associated with HIV status. …

  7. Education and vulnerability: the role of schools in protecting young women and girls from HIV in southern Africa

    Education has a potentially important role to play in tackling the spread of HIV, but is there evidence that this potential is realized? This analysis combines the results of previous literature reviews and updates them with the findings of recent randomized controlled trials and a discussion of possible mechanisms for the effect of schooling on vulnerability to HIV infection. There is a growing body of evidence that keeping girls in school reduces their risk of contracting HIV. …

  8. The association between school attendance, HIV infection and sexual behaviour among young people in rural South Africa

    Objectives: To investigate whether the prevalence of HIV infection among young people, and sexual behaviours associated with increased HIV risk, are differentially distributed between students and those not attending school or college. Design: A random population sample of unmarried young people (916 males, 1003 females) aged 14–25 years from rural South Africa in 2001. Methods: Data on school attendance and HIV risk characteristics came from structured face-to-face interviews. HIV serostatus was assessed by oral fluid ELISA. …

  9. Associations between premarital sex and leaving school in four Sub-Saharan African countries

    This study is an article extracted from "Studies in Family Planning", special issue on "Adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Sub-Saharan Africa", published in December 2008. As formal schooling spreads within sub-Saharan Africa, a growing proportion of adolescents remain enrolled in school when they "come of age". As a consequence more and more adolescents have to negotiate sexual maturation and sexual initiation in a different context than from that of counterparts in prior generations. …

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