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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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. …

  2. Knowledge and attitudes toward AIDS among female college students in Nagasaki, Japan

    This study assesses knowledge and attitudes concerning HIV infection and individuals with AIDS among 383 female students attending colleges in Nagasaki, Japan. A structured questionnaire containing questions concerning knowledge about AIDS, sources of information, beliefs and attitudes toward people with HIV/AIDS was administered during sessions set up for that purpose. The mean age of participants was 18.8 ± 0.8 years (± SD). The main source of information for AIDS awareness as reported by the students was the mass media. …

  3. These days virginity is just a feeling: heterosexuality and change in young urban Vietnamese men

    This paper argues that young Vietnamese men's beliefs around women's changing sexual identities and habits generate some anxiety around their own heterosexual abilities, while contributing to growing doubts around 'traditional' masculine advantage within sexual relations. It explores this notion in regard to eight Vietnamese men aged 18-30 years, interviewed over 13 months of fieldwork in Hanoi, Vietnam. …

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