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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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. …

  2. Gender, peer and partner influences on adolescent HIV risk in rural South Africa

    In preparation for a school-based intervention in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, the authors conducted a cross-sectional survey of potential HIV risk factors in youth ages 14–17 (n=983). Boys were significantly more likely than girls to report lifetime sexual activity (37.7% v. 13.8%, P<0.01). Among boys and girls, 46.1% reported condom use at last sex. Discussion of condom use with a partner was the strongest predictor of condom use (boys, odds ratio (OR)=7.39; girls, OR=5.58, P<0.0001). …

  3. My Story My Life

    This book is designed to help in-school students learn about the health risks involved in pre-marital sex and to improve their life skills. The material is presented in story form, in hopes that young people will identify with the characters. The topics and concepts of this booklet were drawn from studies conducted with youth in Kogi and Cross River states of Nigeria. The issues highlighted revolve around young people's ability to abstain or delay pre-marital sex in order to reduce their risk of HIV infection. …

  4. 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. …

  5. 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. …

  6. 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. …

  7. Self-reported sexual behaviour among adolescent girls in Uganda: reliability of data debated

    The objective of this study was to compare self-reported information about sexual behavior in a research interview to information retrieved during a clinical consultation. Social workers interviewed 595 sexually experienced women below 20 years about genital symptoms and sexual behavior. A midwife interviewed and examined the women and took vaginal samples for gonorrhea and chlamydia. Four questions were embedded in both the social workers' interviews and among the midwife's questions. …

  8. Sports for adolescent girls

    Adolescence is a time when gender disparities between boys and girls become more pronounced. While many boys stay focused on school, girls often have more responsibilities at home. These responsibilities limit girls’ opportunities for maintaining social networks, and social isolation can contribute to increasing the risk of dropping out of school, marrying early, and being in situations that leave them vulnerable to pregnancy and HIV infection. At their most recent annual meeting, the Interagency Youth Working Group focused on protecting and empowering adolescent girls. …

  9. Assessing knowledge, attitude, and practice of emergency contraception: a cross-sectional study among Ethiopian undergraduate female students

    The importance of Emergency contraception (EC) is evident in preventing unintended pregnancies and its ill consequences like unintended child delivery or unsafe abortion, which are the most common causes of maternal mortality. Knowing that Ethiopia is one of the countries with highest maternal mortality rate, this study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of EC, and to further elucidate the relationship between these factors and some socioeconomic and demographic characteristics among female undergraduate students of Addis Ababa University. …

  10. University students and HIV in Namibia: an HIV prevalence survey and a knowledge and attitude survey

    With an overall adult HIV prevalence of 15.3%, Namibia is facing one of the largest HIV epidemics in Africa. Young people aged 20 to 34 years constitute one of the groups at highest risk of HIV infection in Namibia. However, little is known about the impact of HIV on this group and its access to healthcare. The purpose of this study was to estimate HIV prevalence, to assess the knowledge of and attitudes towards HIV/AIDS, and to assess access to healthcare among university students in Namibia.

  11. Education sector strategic plan on HIV and AIDS (ESSP-HA II) 2008-2012

    This is the second Education Sector Strategic Plan on HIV and AIDS for 2008 – 2012 (ESSPHA II). It is the overarching strategy for all HIV and AIDS interventions in Education Sector whether implemented by Government, civil society, the private sector or development partners. It outlines the Education Sector’s strategic plans to address the challenges presented by HIV and AIDS. …

  12. Education and vulnerability: the role of schools in protecting young women and girls from HIV in southern Africa

    Education has a potentially important role to play in tackling the spread of HIV, but is there evidence that this potential is realized? This analysis combines the results of previous literature reviews and updates them with the findings of recent randomized controlled trials and a discussion of possible mechanisms for the effect of schooling on vulnerability to HIV infection. There is a growing body of evidence that keeping girls in school reduces their risk of contracting HIV. …

  13. The association between school attendance, HIV infection and sexual behaviour among young people in rural South Africa

    Objectives: To investigate whether the prevalence of HIV infection among young people, and sexual behaviours associated with increased HIV risk, are differentially distributed between students and those not attending school or college. Design: A random population sample of unmarried young people (916 males, 1003 females) aged 14–25 years from rural South Africa in 2001. Methods: Data on school attendance and HIV risk characteristics came from structured face-to-face interviews. HIV serostatus was assessed by oral fluid ELISA. …

  14. Systematic review exploring time trends in the association between educational attainment and risk of HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa

    Objective: To assess the evidence that the association between educational attainment and risk of HIV infection is changing over time in sub-Saharan Africa. Design and methods: Systematic review of published peer-reviewed articles. Articles were identified that reported original data comparing individually measured educational attainment and HIV status among at least 300 individuals representative of the general population of countries or regions of sub-Saharan Africa. …

  15. Children’s school participation and HIV/AIDS in rural Malawi: the role of parental knowledge and perceptions

    Studies of the relationship between HIV/AIDS and children’s educational attainment largely focus on the direct impacts of parental illness and death, overlooking the potential indirect impact that parental knowledge and perceptions of their HIV status may have on children’s school enrollment. Drawing on both quantitative and qualitative evidence from Malawi, this paper finds that women’s real and perceived anticipation of future health shocks has a positive impact on their children’s educational attainment. …

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