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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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 …

  2. 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. …

  3. 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. …

  4. 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. …

  5. 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. …

  6. 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. …

  7. Women and girls and HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia

    This document is an assessment of the policy and legal framework protecting the rights of women and girls in Ethiopia and reducing their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS UNFPA has commissioned this study as part of its HIV/AIDS and gender development program. The overall objectives of the study were to: 1. identify gaps in the existing policies and legal frameworks, and offer concrete recommendations to fill the gaps; 2. document the existing policies and legal frameworks, together with references to international instruments; 3. …

  8. Regional consultation on sexuality education and gender with a focus on reaching adolescent girls. Meeting report

    In July 2011, UNFPA, UNESCO and UNICEF jointly organised the Asia Pacific Regional Consultation on Sexuality Education and Gender, with a Special Focus on Adolescent Girls. The meeting offered a platform for countries to share their evidence and experience and gain information and tools on how to effectively invest resources in sexuality education programs and policies. There was a special focus on how to reach adolescent girls – both in terms of sexuality education but also in wider development priorities. …

  9. 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.

  10. Women out loud: How women living with HIV will help the world end AIDS

    Women may make up half the world’s population, but they do not share it equally. This is especially evident when it comes to HIV. Half of all people living with HIV are women, yet many are underserved or do not know their status. Despite the many successes we have seen, women still face inequalities that will keep the AIDS response from reaching its full potential.

  11. They are destroying our futures: Sexual violence against girls in Zambia's schools

    This report examines the problem of sexual violence against girls in Zambian schools. In Zambia, many girls are raped, sexually abused, harassed, and assaulted by teachers and male classmates. They are also subjected to sexual harassment and attack while travelling to and from school. Such abuse is a devastating and often overlooked manifestation of the gender-based violence that occurs in numerous settings in Zambia and other countries throughout the world. …

  12. Spotlight on Gender: Evidence-Based Approaches to Protecting Adolescent Girls at Risk of HIV

    Despite decades of investment in HIV prevention, a large and vulnerable population—that of adolescent girls—remains invisible, underserved, and at disproportionate risk of HIV. Given the changing shape of the epidemic and the leveling off or shrinking of resources, there is an urgent need to rebalance HIV investments between treatment and prevention and to develop evidence-based approaches for protecting the large and vulnerable populations of adolescent girls who remain at risk of HIV. This paper outlines a stepwise engagement process for improving girls’ lives and reducing their HIV risk.

  13. 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. …

  14. Addressing sexual violence and HIV risk among married adolescent girls in rural Nyanza, Kenya

    HIV infection is much higher among adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa than among boys. In settings such as Nyanza Province, Kenya, rates of HIV infection are extremely high, and evidence is increasing in some settings that girls who are married are much more likely to be infected with HIV, compared with their unmarried sexually active counterparts. This brief describes a program addressing the problem of sexual violence and the risk of HIV transmission within marriage in Kenya's Nyanza Province. …

  15. Stop violence against girls in school: a cross country analysis of baseline research from Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique

    This report presents findings from baseline studies carried out in three districts in Kenya, Ghana and Mozambique for Stop Violence Against Girls in School, a five year project (2008­-2013) led by ActionAid with support from the UK’s Big Lottery Fund. …

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