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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Creating an enabling environment for adolescent sexual and reproductive health: a framework and promising approaches

    This article provides a conceptual framework and points out the key elements for creating enabling environments for adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH). An ecological framework is applied to organize the key elements of enabling environments for ASRH. At the individual level, strategies that are being implemented and seem promising are those that empower girls, build their individual assets, and create safe spaces. …

  2. Lessons learned from a decade implementing comprehensive sexuality education in resource poor settings: The World Starts With Me

    Today, more than half of the world population is under the age of 25 years and one in four is under age 18. The urgency of expanding access to Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) notably for children and young people in Africa and Asia is greater than ever before. However, many challenges to the implementation and delivery of CSE in resource poor settings have been identified in the literature. CSE’s effectiveness could be strongly improved if these challenges were better met. …

  3. Preparing teachers to deliver gender-focused sexuality/HIV education: a case study from Nigeria

    Evidence shows that a focus on gender and power in sexuality/HIV education increases the likelihood of achieving positive sexual health outcomes, and international agencies have called for a shift to a gender-focused approach. However, questions remain about the implementation of such programmes, including how best to prepare teachers to deliver such curricula. In the development of the national school-based HIV prevention curriculum in Nigeria, several state governments partnered with feminist (or like-minded) non-governmental organisations to collaborate on teacher training. …

  4. 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. …

  5. Sexual and reproductive health and rights for the next decades: What's been achieved? What lies ahead?

    This Global Public Health Special Issue ‘SRHR for the next decades: What's been achieved? What lies ahead?’ assesses progress 20 years after the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), which established the sexual and reproductive health and rights framework for population and health policy (United Nations [UN], 1995). …

  6. Adolescence: building solid foundations for lifelong flourishing

    Adolescence is a decisive age for girls and boys around the world. What they experience during their teenage years shapes the direction of their lives and that of their families. Investments in adolescents’ education and health are life-time investments that are likely to have positive effects on behaviours and lifestyles during their entire life course. For many young people the mere onset of puberty that occurs during adolescence marks a time of heightened vulnerability. …

  7. Population Brief

    Articles from this issue : Making sexuality and HIV education programs more effective | Reducing adolescent girls’ vulnerability to sexual violence in sub-Saharan Africa | Developing a highly acceptable contraceptive vaginal ring | Creating a database of HIV prevention clinical trial terminology and translations.

  8. The case for addressing gender and power in sexuality and HIV education: a comprehensive review of evaluation studies

    CONTEXT: Curriculum-based sexuality and HIV education is a mainstay of interventions to prevent STIs, HIV and unintended pregnancy among young people. Evidence links traditional gender norms, unequal power in sexual relationships and intimate partner violence with negative sexual and reproductive health outcomes. However, little attention has been paid to analyzing whether addressing gender and power in sexuality education curricula is associated with better outcomes. …

  9. Challenges of school re-entry among teenage mothers in primary schools in Muhoroni district, Western Kenya

    Much has been done towards attainment of gender equity in education as envisaged in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), yet gender disparities persist in many parts of the country. Studies indicate that most of girls who drop out of school do not return to class after childbirth despite provisions for it. The purpose of this study was to examine factors that influence re-entry of school girl mothers in primary schools in Muhoroni District, Kisumu County in western Kenya. …

  10. Invited commentary: Broadening the evidence for adolescent sexual and reproductive health and education in the United States

    Scientific research has made major contributions to adolescent health by providing insights into factors that influence it and by defining ways to improve it. However, US adolescent sexual and reproductive health policies-particularly sexuality health education policies and programs-have not benefited from the full scope of scientific understanding. From 1998 to 2009, federal funding for sexuality education focused almost exclusively on ineffective and scientifically inaccurate abstinence-only-until-marriage (AOUM) programs. …

  11. A review of interventions addressing structural drivers of adolescents' sexual and reproductive health vulnerability in sub-Saharan Africa: implications for sexual health programming

    Background: Young people particularly women are at increased risk of undesirable sexual and reproductive health (SRH) outcomes. Structural factors have been reported as driving some of these risks. Although several interventions have targeted some of the structural drivers for adolescent’s SRH risk, little has been done to consolidate such work. This would provide a platform for coordinated efforts towards adolescent’s SRH. …

  12. Twenty years after International Conference on Population and Development: Where are we with adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights?

    The International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994 laid out a bold, clear, and comprehensive definition of reproductive health and called for nations to meet the educational and service needs of adolescents to enable them to deal in a positive and responsible way with their sexuality. …

  13. New outcomes for sexual health promotion

    Numerous definitions of sexual health have been developed over the past few years. Perhaps the best known and most widely accepted of them is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) working definition, which reads as follows: ". . . a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. …

  14. 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. …

  15. Investing in very young adolescents' sexual and reproductive health

    Very young adolescents (VYAs) between the ages of 10 and 14 represent about half of the 1.2 billion adolescents aged 10–19 in the world today. In lower- and middleincome countries, where most unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, maternal deaths and sexually transmitted infections occur, investment in positive youth development to promote sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is increasing. Most interventions, though, focus on older adolescents, overlooking VYAs. …

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