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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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. …

  2. ‘‘AIDS is rape!’’ Gender and sexuality in children’s responses to HIV and AIDS

    This paper examines young African school children’s understanding of HIV and AIDS. Based on focus group interviews with children aged 7–8 in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa, it explores the ways in which gender and sexuality feature in their responses to the disease. Data were collected between 2003 and 2004 through 26 focus groups involving 55 boys and 64 girls. The paper argues that younger children are active agents in giving meaning to the disease. …

  3. 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. …

  4. Programas de Salud y Género. Mujeres con VIH/SIDA

    La proliferación de trabajos biológicos sobre el proceso del VIH/Sida contrasta con el abordaje de la problemática desde la experiencia de los que lo viven. De entre los involucrados, la mujer se vio implicada desde el comienzo como una de las poblaciones de riesgo de contagiar y de enfermarse. …

  5. 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.

  6. 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. …

  7. Predictors of sexual behaviour among church-going youths in Nairobi, Kenya: a cross-denominational study

    The autors surveyed church-going youths in Nairobi, Kenya, to investigate denominational differences in their sexual behaviour and to identify factors related to those differences. In comparison with youths attending mainline churches, the youths surveyed at Pentecostal/evangelical churches were less likely to have ever had sex. Furthermore, although male youths in the mainline churches were more likely than their female counterparts to have ever had sex, no such difference emerged between the male and female youths attending Pentecostal/evangelical churches. …

  8. Addressing early marriage of young and adolescent girls

    Girls in many resource-poor countries often have little choice about whom or when they marry. Orphans and young girls without involved caregivers are particularly vulnerable to early marriage. Early marriage curtails girls’ freedom, isolates them from peers, and ends their education prematurely. Often wed to men who are older and more sexually experienced, young brides lack power and are more likely to experience partner violence. They risk exposure to HIV and other STIs. …

  9. 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. …

  10. 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. …

  11. Intimate partner violence, relationship power inequity, and incidence of HIV infection in young women in South Africa: a cohort study

    Cross-sectional studies have shown that intimate partner violence and gender inequity in relationships are associated with increased prevalence of HIV in women. Yet temporal sequence and causality have been questioned, and few HIV prevention programmes address these issues. The article assessed whether intimate partner violence and relationship power inequity increase risk of incident HIV infection in South African women. …

  12. The start of the sexual transition in Mali: risks and opportunities

    This study is an article extracted from "Studies in Family Planning" published in December 2008. The objective of this study is to analyse the sexual transition in Mali, and more precisely in a poor zone of Bamako. It is based mainly on a survey (a questionnaire ) conducted in 2002 to 2000 young people from urban and rural area. The analysis consisted of descriptive statistics, survival curves and logistic regressions. The study provided indicators of the links between sexual transition, the modernization of Malian society, and sociocultural and economic trends. …

  13. Gender, poverty and intergenerational vulnerability to HIV/AIDS

    This article looks at HIV/AIDS, poverty and gender, and focuses on young girls and old women. It starts with some basic facts about HIV/AIDS, and then provides a framework for analysing vulnerability to the infection and to its impact, in relation to gender and age. It briefly outlines institutional responses, and ends up with conclusion and recommendations for development planners to combine gender and age analysis in any development or humanitarian work.

  14. Exploring the socioeconomic dimension of adolescent reproductive health: a multicountry analysis

    Published by the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI), this article focuses on socio-economic factors influencing reproductive health needs and service use among young women in 12 developing countries. Findings showed that, in most countries, young women from the poorest households were more likely than those from the richest to be married and have at least one child by the age of 18, and to lack financial independence. …

  15. Reaching the youngest adolescents with reproductive health programs and services

    An article focuses on the emerging needs in providing information and reproductive health services to youth aged 10-14, one of the underserved groups and most subject to abuse and coerced sex. Included also in the paper are suggestions on effective approaches to reach these younger adolescents.

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