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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Rethinking HIV-prevention for school-going young people based on current behaviour patterns

    The aim of the research was to gain increased knowledge regarding the sexual risk behaviour of school-going young people in South Africa after two decades of HIV-education in schools, to contribute to the development of improved HIV prevention strategies. In collaboration with the Department of Education, a sample of 5305 learners (between 10 and 18 years in Grades 5–12) from high-risk communities were identified. …

  2. Another lost generation? The impact of HIV/AIDS on schooling in South Africa

    The South African education system is faced with the difficult task of redressing the inequalities and backlogs created by the racially segregated and unequally resourced apartheid structure. The system is also faced with the responsibility of reintroducing a culture of teaching and learning in the nation’s schools after the anti-apartheid struggle’s ‘freedom now, education later!’ slogan, a time when protest action brought about disruptions in young people’s education, and the much lamented ‘lost generation’. …

  3. Experimental evaluation of school-based HIV programs in sub-Saharan Africa

    School-based adolescent health education programs represent a durable strategy in reducing the spread of HIV because they can leverage pre-existing social and organizational structures to reach large fractions of students at critical life stages. Many evaluations of school-based HIV programs draw on multilevel study designs that assign schools to treatment conditions or assign students to treatment conditions within blocks defined by school membership. …

  4. The need to prepare future teachers to understand and combat homophobia in schools

    Teacher training programmes that improve teachers' capacity and confidence to address homophobia in South African schools will engender non-homophobic school contexts. Currently, there is a dearth of educational research on future teachers' preparation for homophobic school contexts. …

  5. ‘You need to have some guts to teach’: teacher preparation and characteristics for the teaching of sexuality and HIV/AIDS education in South African schools

    Using in-depth interviews, the authors asked sexuality educators in South Africa about their own professional preparation and what they believed were necessary educator characteristics for teaching Sexuality Education. Their findings show that the teachers taught Sexuality Education without any appropriate qualification or preparation, but because they had a lighter teaching load and had room to take on more teaching hours. Nevertheless, they all mention that ‘not anybody can teach Sexuality Education’. …

  6. When caring is not enough: The limits of teachers’ support for South African primary school-girls in the context of sexual violence

    Between 2011 and 2012, 40.1% of all sexual offences in South Africa involved children under 18. Important scholarship has demonstrated how large-scale social and economic inequalities structure African girls’ risk to and experience of sexual violence leading to a condemnation of violent masculinities and the social processes that produce it. Under conditions of chronic poverty and unstable living conditions, girls’ vulnerability to sexual violence is increased. …

  7. Life orientation sexuality education in South Africa: Gendered norms, justice and transformation

    Research on sexual practices among young South Africans has proliferated in light of the national imperatives to challenge the spread of HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence and unwanted early pregnancies. It has been widely acknowledged that, in order to respond to these social problems, we need to understand the enmeshment of gender, class, age and other forms of social inequality, and how these are played out in ‘normal’ heterosexual relationships.

  8. The unfinished nature of rights-informed HIV- and AIDS-related education: an analysis of three school-based initiatives

    Over the past 25 years, there has been growing investment in concepts of rights in the areas of HIV prevention, care and treatment, including HIV- and AIDS-related education delivered in schools. Despite this increasing commitment to the notion of rights, few efforts appear to have been made to understand the varying conceptions of rights that underpin different kinds of initiatives. …

  9. Students want HIV testing in schools: a formative evaluation of the acceptability of HIV testing and counselling at schools in Gauteng and North West provinces in South Africa

    Background: The proposal by the South African Health Ministry to implement HIV testing and counselling (HTC) at schools in 2011 generated debates about the appropriateness of such testing. However, the debate has been between the Ministries of Education and Health, with little considerations of the students. The main aim of the study was to assess the students’ opinions and uptake of HIV testing and counselling in general, and the acceptability of the provision of HIV testing and counselling in schools. …

  10. Teenage pregnancy in South African schools: challenges, trends and policy issues

    Teenage pregnancy in South African schools poses a serious management and leadership challenge. It calls for school management teams (SMTs) to acquire critical skills to manage teenage pregnancy within the requirements of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 and the South African Schools Act 84 of 1996. Little, if any, research has been conducted on learner pregnancy as a hurdle toward the achievement of millennium development goals (MDGs) and EFA goals. …

  11. Girls’ education in South Africa: special consideration to teen mothers as learners

    Teenage pregnancy has militated against the educational success of girls in South Africa. Statistics show that four out of ten girls become pregnant overall at least once before age 20. Education is important for these girls in order to break the poverty cycle in which most of them are trapped. Though the girls are allowed to return to school after becoming mothers, they face many challenges in trying to balance motherhood and the demands of schooling. The aim of this study was to find out how teen mothers cope with schooling, hence how much support is rendered to them. …

  12. 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. …

  13. Promoting sexual and reproductive health among adolescents in southern and eastern Africa (PREPARE): project design and conceptual framework

    Background: Young people in sub-Saharan Africa are affected by the HIV pandemic to a greater extent than young people elsewhere and effective HIV-preventive intervention programmes are urgently needed. The present article presents the rationale behind an EU-funded research project (PREPARE) examining effects of community-based (school delivered) interventions conducted in four sites in sub-Saharan Africa. One intervention focuses on changing beliefs and cognitions related to sexual practices (Mankweng, Limpopo, South Africa). …

  14. Parents' perceptions of HIV counselling and testing in schools: ethical, legal and social implications

    In view of the high prevalence of HIV and AIDS in South Africa, particularly among adolescents, the Departments of Health and Education have proposed a school-based HIV counselling and testing (HCT) campaign to reduce HIV infections and sexual risk behaviour. Through the use of semi-structured interviews, our qualitative study explored perceptions of parents regarding the ethico-legal and social implications of the proposed campaign. Despite some concerns, parents were generally in favour of the HCT campaign. …

  15. 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. …

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