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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Adolescent schoolgirls’ experiences of menstrual cups and pads in rural western Kenya: a qualitative study

    Poor menstrual hygiene management (MHM) among schoolgirls in low income countries affects girls' dignity, self-esteem, and schooling. Hygienic, effective, and sustainable menstrual products are required. A randomized controlled feasibility study was conducted among 14-16-year-old girls, in 30 primary schools in rural western Kenya, to examine acceptability, use, and safety of menstrual cups or sanitary pads. Focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted to evaluate girls' perceptions and experiences six months after product introduction. …

  2. The effect of a conditional cash transfer on HIV incidence in young women in rural South Africa (HPTN 068): a phase 3, randomised controlled trial

    Cash transfers have been proposed as an intervention to reduce HIV-infection risk for young women in sub-Saharan Africa. However, scarce evidence is available about their effect on reducing HIV acquisition. The authors aimed to assess the effect of a conditional cash transfer on HIV incidence among young women in rural South Africa. Based on their research findings, the authors draw the conclusion that cash transfers conditional on school attendance did not reduce HIV incidence in young women. School attendance significantly reduced risk of HIV acquisition, irrespective of study group. …

  3. Sexuality education in rural Lesotho schools: challenges and possibilities

    The aim of this paper is to present and discuss some of the obstacles to effective sexuality education in rural Lesotho schools and offer some suggestions that could facilitate positive change in the current status of sexuality education. The call for education as a ‘vaccine’ against new HIV infections places teachers at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic, and thus it is imperative to understand how they experience teaching about sexuality. …

  4. Revealing the full extent of households’ experiences of HIV and AIDS in rural South Africa

    Households experience HIV and AIDS in a complex and changing set of environments. These include health and welfare treatment and support services, HIV-related stigma and discrimination, and individual and household social and economic circumstances. This paper documents the experiences of 12 households directly affected by HIV and AIDS in rural KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, between 2002 and 2004. The households were observed during repeated visits over a period of more than a year by ethnographically trained researchers. …

  5. Menstrual hygiene management (Waterlines: Journal issue)

    This issue of the journal Waterlines looks at experiences of menstrual hygiene management in schools in a number of countries.

  6. HIV-related discrimination among grade six students in nine southern African countries

    Background: HIV-related stigmatisation and discrimination by young children towards their peers have important consequences at the individual level and for our response to the epidemic, yet research on this area is limited. Methods: We used nationally representative data to examine discrimination of HIV-positive children by grade six students (n = 39,664) across nine countries in Southern Africa: Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. …

  7. The girl with her period is the one to hang her head. Reflections on menstrual management among schoolgirls in rural Kenya

    Background. The onset of menstruation is a landmark event in the life of a young woman. Yet the complications and challenges that can accompany such an event have been understudied, specifically in resource-poor settings. As interventions aim to improve female attendance in schools, it is important to explore how menstruation is perceived and navigated by girls in the school setting. This research conveys rural Kenyan schoolgirls' perceptions and practices related to menstruation. Methods. Data were collected at six rural schools in the Nyanza Province of Western Kenya. …

  8. Exploring the opinions of parents and teachers about young people receiving puberty and sex education in rural Kenya: a qualitative study

    In Kenya, one of the most significant public health concerns is the spread of HIV. Additionally, 13,000 girls drop out of school every year due to pregnancy. Although the Kenyan Ministry of Education and other independent organisations have tried to implement various means of developing puberty and sexual health education for young people, the situation is not improving. Aims: To explore the opinions of teachers and parents in rural Kenya about delivering puberty and sex education and to identify their perceptions of barriers to young people accessing this education. …

  9. Factors shaping the HIV-competence of two primary schools in rural Zimbabwe

    We present multi-method case studies of two Zimbabwean primary schools – one rural and one small-town. The rural school scored higher than the small-town school on measures of child well-being and school attendance by HIV-affected children. The small-town school had superior facilities, more teachers with higher morale, more specialist HIV/AIDS activities, and an explicit religious ethos. The relatively impoverished rural school was located in a more cohesive community with a more critically conscious, dynamic and networking headmaster. …

  10. Staff and students' perception of an HIV/AIDS' strategy: A case study of a South African rural-based university

    Background: South African communities have high rates of people living with HIV and AIDS. Universities, particularly those in rural regions are examples of communities noted to be high risk areas of these infections. HIV/AIDS strategies were developed and implemented by higher education institutions to address this concern. Despite this, the prevalence and incidence of HIV and AIDS remain high in academic settings. Yet studies in this area in South Africa are rare. …

  11. Emma says: A case study of the use of comics for health education among women in the AIDS heartland

    The purpose of this paper is to examine one mass media AIDS education project, the Emma Says comic series. Created by an international health research organization based in the USA, the series was designed to educate women in rural Africa about the need to protect themselves from AIDS. The Emma Says series aimed to deliver powerful messages about AIDS in an easy-to-understand format using the caricature of an African woman working as a health educator in her community. …

  12. 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. …

  13. Children’s representations of school support for HIV-affected peers in rural Zimbabwe

    Background: HIV has left many African children caring for sick relatives, orphaned or themselves HIV-positive, often facing immense challenges in the absence of significant support from adults. With reductions in development funding, public sector budgetary constraints, and a growing emphasis on the importance of indigenous resources in the HIV response, international policy allocates schools a key role in ‘substituting for families’ (Ansell, 2008) in supporting child health and well-being. …

  14. We keep it secret so no one should know - A qualitative study to explore young schoolgirls attitudes and experiences with menstruation in rural western Kenya

    Background: Keeping girls in school offers them protection against early marriage, teen pregnancy, and sexual harms, and enhances social and economic equity. Studies report menstruation exacerbates school-drop out and poor attendance, although evidence is sparse. This study qualitatively examines the menstrual experiences of young adolescent schoolgirls. Methods and Findings: The study was conducted in Siaya County in rural western Kenya. A sample of 120 girls aged 14–16 years took part in 11 focus group discussions, which were analysed thematically. …

  15. What can a teacher do with a cellphone? Using participatory visual research to speak back in addressing HIV and AIDS

    The ubiquity of cellphones in South Africa, a country ravaged by HIV and AIDS, makes cellphones an easily accessible tool to use in participatory approaches to addressing HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) issues, particularly in school contexts. In this article we explore a participatory visual approach undertaken with a group of rural teachers, to uncover and address HIV and AIDS related issues. Drawing on our experience in using participatory video, we used cellphones to produce cellphilms about youth and risk in the context of HIV and AIDS. …

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