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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Engaging school personnel in making schools safe for girls in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique

    Girls are vulnerable to HIV in part because the social systems in which they live have failed to protect them. This study evaluates a program aimed at making schools safe for girl learners in order to reduce girls’ vulnerability to HIV in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique. In addition to an extensive process evaluation with school personnel program participants, program facilitators, and community members, a cross-sectional post-intervention survey was conducted among adolescent girls in the three countries. The total sample size was 1249 adolescent girls (ages 11–18). …

  2. When caring is not enough: The limits of teachers’ support for South African primary school-girls in the context of sexual violence

    Between 2011 and 2012, 40.1% of all sexual offences in South Africa involved children under 18. Important scholarship has demonstrated how large-scale social and economic inequalities structure African girls’ risk to and experience of sexual violence leading to a condemnation of violent masculinities and the social processes that produce it. Under conditions of chronic poverty and unstable living conditions, girls’ vulnerability to sexual violence is increased. …

  3. Feminist Formations

    Articles from this issue : Girls’ schooling, gender equity, and the global education and development agenda: conceptual disconnections, political struggles, and the difficulties of practice, Situating empowerment for millennial schoolgirls in Gujarat, India and Shaanxi, China, engendering agency: the differentiated impact of educational initiatives in Zambia and India, History transformed?: Gender in World War II narratives in U.S. …

  4. The cost and cost-effectiveness of gender-responsive interventions for HIV: a systematic review

    Introduction: Harmful gender norms and inequalities, including gender-based violence, are important structural barriers to effective HIV programming. We assess current evidence on what forms of gender-responsive intervention may enhance the effectiveness of basic HIV programmes and be cost-effective. Methods: Effective intervention models were identified from an existing evidence review (“what works for women”). Based on this, we conducted a systematic review of published and grey literature on the costs and cost-effectiveness of each intervention identified. …

  5. What HIV programs work for adolescent girls?

    Background: Adolescent girls face unique challenges in reducing their risk of acquiring HIV because of gender inequalities, but much of HIV programming and evaluation lacks a specific focus on female adolescents. Methods: This article, based on a review of 150 studies and evaluations from 2001 to June 2013, reviews evidence on programming for adolescents that is effective for girls or could be adapted to be effective for girls. Results: The evidence suggests specific interventions for adolescent girls across 3 critical areas: (1) an enabling environment, including keeping girls in school …

  6. Strengthening the enabling environment for women and girls: what is the evidence in social and structural approaches in the HIV response?

    There is growing interest in expanding public health approaches that address social and structural drivers that affect the environment in which behaviour occurs. Half of those living with HIV infection are women. The sociocultural and political environment in which women live can enable or inhibit their ability to protect themselves from acquiring HIV. …

  7. Preventing sexual violence and HIV in children

    BACKGROUND: Evidence linking violence against women and HIV has grown, including on the cycle of violence and the links between violence against children and women. To create an effective response to the HIV epidemic, it is key to prevent sexual violence against children and intimate partner violence (IPV) against adolescent girls. …

  8. Doing harm in the name of protection: menstruation as a topic for sex education

    Pubertal changes in girls and boys are treated differently in school materials in New Zealand. Girls are taught about menstruation in a scientific manner oriented towards reproduction, hygiene and personal stress. Boys receive more positive information about 'exciting' and 'powerful' bodily changes which they can enjoy. The picture of growing up which girls receive is relatively bleak, and is out of touch with the realities of their own lives and those of adult women around them. …

  9. Inclusion of adolescent girls in HIV prevention research - an imperative for an AIDS-free generation

    Recent scientific advances centred on the use of anti-retrovirals (ARVs) – both prophylactically to prevent HIV acquisition (pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP) and for treatment to minimize onward transmission (treatment as prevention, or TasP) – have led to a new-found optimism for control of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the possibility of creating an “AIDS-free generation”. In order to translate this optimism into reality, large and sustained reductions in incident HIV infections are required. …

  10. Gender inequality and HIV transmission: a global analysis

    Introduction: The HIV pandemic disproportionately impacts young women. Worldwide, young women aged 15–24 are infected with HIV at rates twice that of young men, and young women alone account for nearly a quarter of all new HIV infections. The incommensurate HIV incidence in young – often poor – women underscores how social and economic inequalities shape the HIV epidemic. Confluent social forces, including political and gender violence, poverty, racism, and sexism impede equal access to therapies and effective care, but most of all constrain the agency of women. …

  11. Gender and sexual vulnerability of young women in Africa: experiences of young girls in secondary schools in Uganda

    Sexuality is part and parcel of students' experiences of schooling manifested in personal friendships, relations and social interaction. These encounters constitute sites within which sexual identities are developed, practiced and actively produced through processes of negotiation. Drawing on qualitative research conducted in 14 selected secondary schools in Central and Western Uganda, the study illuminates gendered sexual vulnerability within patterns of social interaction and young girls gendered experiences and negotiation of their sexuality. …

  12. Women hold up half the sky - and half the burden of the HIV epidemic

    The HIV burden on women is dramatically higher in some regions, certain age groups and among marginalized groups, such as female sex workers. Women’s vulnerability to HIV is exacerbated by gender inequality and domestic violence. The global effort towards elimination of paediatric HIV and keeping mothers alive deserves applause. However, the needs of women go beyond their child-bearing age or potentials and/or reproductive desires and must be recognized in the global HIV agenda. In particular, more female-controlled prevention tools are urgently required to allow women to protect themselves.

  13. Gender violence in schools: taking the 'girls-as-victims' discourse forward

    This paper draws attention to the gendered nature of violence in schools. Recent recognition that schools can be violent places has tended to ignore the fact that many such acts originate in unequal and antagonistic gender relations, which are tolerated and ‘normalised’ by everyday school structures and processes. …

  14. Programs to address child marriage: Framing the problem

    Child marriage violates girls’ human rights and adversely affects their health and well-being. While age at marriage is increasing in most regions of the developing world, early marriage persists for large populations. Worldwide, it is estimated that more than one out of three women aged 20–24 were married before age 18, and one out of seven were married before age 15. There is great variation in child marriage practices across and within regions and between ethnic and religious groups. Eradicating child marriage has long been on the agenda of the United Nations and of individual countries. …

  15. Sexual risk among orphaned adolescents: is country-level HIV prevalence an important factor?

    Previous studies from sub-Saharan Africa have found that orphans experience increased sexual risk compared to non-orphans. This article developed a theoretical framework for the investigation of determinants of HIV risk and used it to generate specific hypotheses regarding the effect of country-level HIV prevalence on the sexual risk experience of orphans. It expected that countries with high HIV prevalence would experience a higher prevalence of orphanhood. …

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