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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Implementation of adolescent-friendly voluntary medical male circumcision using a school based recruitment program in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

    Background: Epidemiological data from South Africa demonstrate that risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in males increases dramatically after adolescence. Targeting adolescent HIV-negative males may be an efficient and cost-effective means of maximising the established HIV prevention benefits of voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) in high HIV prevalence–, low circumcision practice–settings. This study assessed the feasibility of recruiting male high school students for VMMC in such a setting in rural KwaZulu-Natal. …

  2. Cross-sectional study assessing HIV related knowledge, attitudes and behavior in Namibian public sector employees in capital and regional settings

    The study objective was to assess the current status of HIV knowledge, attitudes and behavior (KAB) among employees of Namibian ministries. As most HIV campaigning takes place in the capital of Windhoek, an additional aim was to compare Windhoek to four regions (Hardap, Erongo, Oshana, and Caprivi). Between January and March 2011 a cross-sectional survey was conducted in two Namibian ministries, with participants selected randomly from the workforce. Data collection was based on questionnaires. 832 participants were included in the study (51.6% male). …

  3. School culture and the well-being of same-sex attracted youth

    This study assesses how variations in heteronormative culture in high schools affect the well-being of same-sex-attracted youth. The authors focus on the stigmatization of same-sex attraction (rather than identity or behavior) to better understand how heteronormativity may marginalize a wide range of youth. …

  4. Masculinities and condom use patterns among young rural South Africa men: a cross-sectional baseline survey

    Notions of ideal manhood in South Africa are potentially prescriptive of male sexuality thus accounting for the behaviors which may lead to men being at greater HIV risk. We tested the hypothesis that gender and relationship constructs are associated with condom use among young men living in rural South Africa. 1219 men aged 15–26 years completed a cross-sectional baseline survey from an IsiXhosa questionnaire asking about sexual behaviour and relationships. …

  5. The sexual behaviour of adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa: patterns and trends from national surveys

    Objectives: To describe the sexual and reproductive behaviour of adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly 15- to 19-year-olds. Methods: Using DHS/AIS data (2000–2010), nine indicators of adolescent behaviour and one of adult attitudes towards condom education for adolescents were described for 24 countries. Indicators were disaggregated by gender, urban/rural residency and educational status, and time trends were described. Results: Up to 25% of 15- to 19-year-olds reported sex before age 15; this proportion shrank over time in many countries. …

  6. 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). …

  7. Young people and sexual agency in rural Uganda

    Drawing on definitions of agency from within the international development literature, the author focuses on decision-making processes leading to young people's involvement in relationships; actions undertaken to maintain secret relationships in contexts where young people's sexual agency is generally prohibited; transactional and gendered negotiations between young people involved within a relationship; and a range of outcomes arising from young people's sexual activity. …

  8. The protective role of religious coping in adolescents' responses to poverty and sexual decision-making in rural Kenya

    In this study, the authors explored how adolescents in rural Kenya apply religious coping in sexual decision-making in the context of high rates of poverty and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 34 adolescents. One-third (13) reported religious coping related to economic stress, HIV, or sexual decision-making; the majority (29) reported religious coping with these or other stressors. …

  9. Girls' schooling and the perceived threat of adolescent sexual activity in rural Malawi

    Despite its relative infrequency, pregnancy is perceived by parents in rural Malawi as a leading cause of school dropout among female students. This paper explores parents' beliefs about adolescent sexual activity and schoolgirl pregnancy and how these perceptions frame parents' aspirations and expectations about girls' schooling. In-depth interviews were collected in rural Malawi from 60 adults aged 25–50 who were the parent of at least one school-aged child. …

  10. 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. …

  11. Adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Malawi: a synthesis of research evidence

    The primary goal of this report is to summarize what is known about adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Malawi and to identify knowledge and program gaps requiring further research and program action. …

  12. Evaluation of HIV/AIDS secondary school peer education in rural Nigeria

    This study used a comparative case series (n=250), a cross-sectional structured survey (n=135) and focus group discussions (n=80) to assess whether HIV peer education can influence knowledge, misconceptions and behavior among adolescents in rural Nigeria. A questionnaire was designed to look at socio-demographics, transmission and prevention knowledge on HIV, access to various sources of HIV/AIDS information, stigmatization and sexual behavior. …

  13. Young people's understanding of HIV: a qualitative study among school students in Mankweng, South Africa

    This article describes young people's interpretation of HIV, AIDS and sexually transmitted illness in a rural South African community in Mankweng, Limpopo Province. Method: The study was based on 19 focus group discussions with adolescents aged 12-14 years. Results: Our participants had limited knowledge about HIV from a biomedical perspective. Their understanding and interpretations of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases were largely informed by traditional and religious belief systems that explain how and why people contract an illness via sexual intercourse. …

  14. Perceptions of rural school staff regarding sexual minority students

    Sexual minority students often do not feel safe in school, especially in rural communities, and changes are needed within school environments in order to provide a safe and effective learning environment for all students. Prior to implementing school change, an investigation into the perceptions of educators in public schools in three rural New York counties was conducted. Results indicated that respondents, especially teachers, viewed sexual minority students significantly less favorably than other minority groups. …

  15. Who, what, where, when, and why: demographic and ecological factors contributing to hostile school climate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth

    This study examines how locational (region and local), community-level (school district poverty and adult educational attainment), and school district-level (district size and ratios of students to key school personnel) variables are related to indicators of hostile school climate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. Indicators of hostile climate included frequency of homophobic remarks and victimization regarding sexual orientation and gender expression. …

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