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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Affective engagement with research evidence about young people’s sex education in Kenya

    Sex and relationships have a big impact on young people’s lives. For most young people in the world getting information about sexual pleasure, apart from pornography, can be difficult. And it’s even harder if you live in parts of the world where you often aren’t able to decide who to date or marry, or how many children you want to have. For this reason online information on sexuality is hugely popular. Research suggests that young people are arriving at sex education sites mostly through campaigns on social media. …

  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. Gender Dynamics and Sexual Norms among Youth in Mali in the Context of HIV/AIDS Prevention

    Socially constructed ideas of gender norms and values attached to sexuality need to be considered when aiming to build the young people’s capacity to adopt HIV preventive behaviours. We conducted ten focus groups and sixteen individual interviews to explore sexual norms among youth in Bamako. Premarital sex, multiple partnering, condom use and transactional sex were discussed. The findings suggest that young people’s sexual norms are shaped by kin or authoritative elders as well as by external influences coming from Western culture. …

  4. West African youth initiative: Outcome of a reproductive health education program

    Purpose: To describe the implementation and evaluation of an adolescent reproductive health peer education program in West Africa. The program, known as the West African Youth Initiative (WAYI), was developed to improve knowledge of sexuality and reproductive health, and promote safer sex behaviors and contraceptive use among sexually active adolescents in Nigeria and Ghana. …

  5. Predictors of knowledge about HIV/AIDS among young people: Lessons from Botswana

    This study sought to identify factors that can predict knowledge about HIV/AIDS among adolescents in Botswana. The data were collected through a self administered questionnaire from a sample of 1294 students from schools around the capital city of Botswana, Gaborone. The research instrument consisted of 76 items that solicited information on background characteristics of respondents, indicators of family cohesiveness and bonding of children with their parents, indicators of personal adjustment, evidence of sex life, and knowledge about HIV/AIDS. …

  6. Can we use young people’s knowledge to develop teachers and HIV-related education?

    Despite recent progress in meeting the goals of the Education for All agenda, certain groups of young people are particularly vulnerable to exclusion and underachievement, including children with HIV/AIDS, children living in poverty, and children with disabilities. HIV/AIDS has reduced many young people’s rights to access education, to live a full and healthy life, and to have a life as a child. …

  7. Sexual behaviour and knowledge regarding sexually transmitted infections among undergraduate students in Durban, South Africa

    The objective of this cross-sectional study was to identify the sexual behavior and knowledge of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) amongst 752 undergraduate university students in South Africa, using self-administered questionnaires. More than half reported presently being sexually active, the majority used contraceptives and especially used condoms. Almost a third of the sample, had multiple sexual partners, and more than a quarter of them reported to have sex under the influence of alcohol. …

  8. Effectiveness of a peer-led HIV prevention intervention in secondary schools in Rwanda: results from a non-randomized controlled trial

    While the HIV epidemic is levelling off in sub-Saharan Africa, it remains at an unacceptably high level. Young people aged 15-24 years remain particularly vulnerable, resulting in a regional HIV prevalence of 1.4% in young men and 3.3% in young women. This study assesses the effectiveness of a peer-led HIV prevention intervention in secondary schools in Rwanda on young people’s sexual behavior, HIV knowledge and attitudes. In a non-randomized longitudinal controlled trial, fourteen schools were selected in two neighboring districts in Rwanda Bugesera (intervention) and Rwamagana (control). …

  9. Psychosocial processes and sexual initiation among Ghanaian youth

    This study modeled primary abstinence and age at first sex in a cross-sectional sample of Ghanaian youth ages 17 to 22 years. The aim was to examine how reproductive knowledge and social cognitive factors jointly affect the choice to initiate sex. Among males, the authors found that reproductive knowledge is negatively associated with abstinence. Its negative association, however, is moderated by the extent of adult support a respondent receives. Among females, reproductive knowledge is positively associated with abstinence. …

  10. Sexual risk behaviors among youth heads of household in Gikongoro, south province of Rwanda

    The purpose of this study was to: (a) identify risk behaviors that expose Rwandan young heads of household (YHH) to HIV infection, (b) determine gender-specific high-risk profiles and, (c) determine predictors of sexual onset. A household survey was conducted among 692 YHH, ages 12–24, all beneficiaries of a World Vision basic needs program in Gikongoro, Rwanda, from January to March 2004. Participants were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Data were collected on socio-demographic variables, knowledge about HIV/AIDS prevention and sexual risk behaviors. …

  11. Gendered perceptions of HIV risk among young women and men in a high-HIV-prevalence setting

    It has become evident that sexual health and HIV-risk behaviours cannot be addressed effectively without paying adequate attention to constructions of gender and sexuality. While the body of literature examining these themes is growing and becoming more nuanced, there is still a significant gap in our understanding of the relationship between gendered sexual identities and vulnerabilities to disease. In particular, few studies have explored how youths themselves perceive this relationship, and how these perceptions may differ among males and females. …

  12. Do peer educators make a difference? An evaluation of a youth-led HIV prevention model in Zambian schools

    Restless Development's youth-led model places trained Volunteer Peer Educators (VPEs), aged 18-25 years, in schools to teach HIV prevention and reproductive health (RH). VPEs also run youth centers, extracurricular and community-based activities. This evaluation assesses program effects on students' HIV/RH knowledge, attitudes and behaviors using a non-randomized quasi-experimental design among 2133 eighth and ninth grade students in 13 intervention versus 13 matched comparison schools and program costs. …

  13. Out-of-school and at risk? Socio-demographic characteristics, AIDS knowledge and risk perception among young people in Northern Tanzania

    This paper investigates the reasons why young people in urban and rural Kilimanjaro, Tanzania do not attend school, their socio-demographic characteristics, AIDS knowledge and risk perception. A structured face-to-face interview was conducted with 1007 young people between the ages of 13 and 18. Findings suggest that non-attendance is the product of a complex interaction of economic, individual, family and school-related factors. Boys have more AIDS knowledge than girls, and those from urban areas are more knowledgeable than their rural counterparts. …

  14. Condom Use Increases Among Namibian Youths Following HIV Training

    Namibian adolescents who received an HIV training curriculum experienced significant changes in attitudes, knowledge, intentions and behaviors concerning sexual activity and HIV. Adolescents who received training were more likely than their peers to know how pregnancy occurs and how to use a condom correctly. They also were more likely to believe that they could be intimate with a partner without having sex and that they could have a girlfriend or boyfriend for a long time without having sex. …

  15. The Relationship History Calendar: Improving the Scope and Quality of Data on Youth Sexual Behavior

    Most survey data on sexual activities are obtained via face-to-face interviews, which are prone to misreporting of socially unacceptable behaviors. Demographers have developed various private response methods to minimize social desirability bias and improve the quality of reporting; however, these methods often limit the complexity of information collected. We designed a life history calendar - the Relationship History Calendar (RHC) - to increase the scope of data collected on sexual relationships and behavior while enhancing their quality. …

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