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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Rethinking sexual agency: proposing a multicomponent model based on young people’s life stories

    Sexual health policies explicitly aim to encourage young people to take responsibility for their sexuality to prevent adverse outcomes such as unintended pregnancies, STIs and sexual assault. In Europe and North America, ‘choice’ has become a central concept in sexual and reproductive health policy making. However, the concept of choice is not unproblematic, not least because the cultural emphasis on individual responsibility obscures structural limitations and inequalities, and mutual responsibility between partners. …

  2. The effects of school-based condom availability programs (CAPs) on condom acquisition, use and sexual behavior: a systematic review

    We conducted a systematic review to assess the impact of school-based condom availability programs (CAPs) on condom acquisition, use and sexual behavior. We searched PubMed to identify English-language studies evaluating school-based CAPs that reported process (i.e. number of condoms distributed or used) and sexual behavior measures. We identified nine studies that met our inclusion criteria, with the majority conducted in the United States of America. We judged most studies to have medium risk of bias. …

  3. School-based sexual health education interventions to prevent STI/HIV in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    The authors reviewed evaluations of school-based sexual health education interventions in sub-Saharan Africa to assess effectiveness in reducing sexually transmitted infections and promoting condom use.

  4. School-based interventions for preventing HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy in adolescents (Review)

    Background: School-based sexual and reproductive health programmes are widely accepted as an approach to reducing high-risk sexual behaviour among adolescents. Many studies and systematic reviews have concentrated on measuring effects on knowledge or self-reported behaviour rather than biological outcomes, such as pregnancy or prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Objectives: To evaluate the effects of school-based sexual and reproductive health programmes on sexually transmitted infections (such as HIV, herpes simplex virus, and syphilis), and pregnancy among adolescents.

  5. Designing an effective sexuality education curriculum for schools: lessons gleaned from the South(ern) African literature

    Sexuality education forms part of the national school curricula of most sub-Saharan African countries, yet risk-related sexual behaviour among young people continues to fuel the HIV pandemic in this part of the world. One of the arguments put forward to explain why sexuality education seems to have had little impact on sexual risk-taking is that existing curricula have neglected to take into account the complexity of the social, cultural and gender norms that influence the behaviour of school-going young people in sub-Saharan Africa. …

  6. School-based sexuality education in Portugal: strengths and weaknesses

    Portugal, like many other countries, faces obstacles regarding schoolbased sexuality education. This paper explores Portuguese schools’ approaches to implementing sexuality education at a local level, and provides a critical analysis of potential strengths and weaknesses. Documents related to sexuality education in a convenience sample of 89 schools were analysed and findings confirm both the results of the few existing Portuguese studies on the subject and commonalities in sexuality education between Portugal and other European countries. …

  7. The case for addressing gender and power in sexuality and HIV education: a comprehensive review of evaluation studies

    CONTEXT: Curriculum-based sexuality and HIV education is a mainstay of interventions to prevent STIs, HIV and unintended pregnancy among young people. Evidence links traditional gender norms, unequal power in sexual relationships and intimate partner violence with negative sexual and reproductive health outcomes. However, little attention has been paid to analyzing whether addressing gender and power in sexuality education curricula is associated with better outcomes. …

  8. Effectiveness of HIV prevention for youth in sub-Saharan Africa: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized and nonrandomized trials

    Objective: Systematically assess the effectiveness of HIV-prevention interventions in changing sexual behaviour of young people (10–25 years) in sub-Saharan Africa. Methods: Three online databases were searched using prespecified terms. Additional articles were identified on websites of international organizations and by searching bibliographies. Randomized and nonrandomized trials of interventions aiming to reduce risk behaviour were included as well as single-arm studies reporting effects of differential exposure to an intervention. …

  9. Education and risky sex in Africa: Unraveling the link between women’s education and reproductive health behaviors in Kenya

    Much research attention has been devoted to understanding the relationship between education and riskier sex-related behaviors and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. While in the early 1990s researchers found that increases in education were associated with a higher incidence of HIV/AIDS, this relationship appears to have reversed and better educated people, especially women, appear less likely to engage in riskier sex-related behaviors and have a lower incidence rate of HIV/AIDS. …

  10. Sexuality education in South Africa: Three essential questions

    Sex education is the cornerstone on which most HIV/AIDS prevention programmes rest and since the adoption of Outcomes-Based Education (OBE), has become a compulsory part of the South African school curriculum through the Life Orientation learning area. However, while much focus has been on providing young people with accurate and frank information about safe sex, this paper questions whether school based programmes sufficiently support the needs of young people. …

  11. Nothing as practical as good theory? The theoretical basis of HIV prevention interventions for young people in sub-Saharan Africa: A systematic review

    This paper assesses the extent to which HIV prevention interventions for young people in sub-Saharan Africa are grounded in theory and if theory-based interventions are more effective. Three databases were searched for evaluation studies of HIV prevention interventions for youth. Additional articles were identified on websites of international organisations and through searching references. 34 interventions were included; 25 mentioned the use of theory. …

  12. Sexuality education for HIV prevention in Latin America and the Caribbean: a regional diagnosis

    More than 25 years since the discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), preventing its transmission continues to be a challenge throughout the world; Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) are not an exception. The Government of Mexico has called upon the countries of the region to sign a joint Declaration from the Ministries of Education and Health with the firm commitment to utilize a comprehensive sex education approach as a strategic tool for HIV prevention. …

  13. An integrative review of comprehensive sex education for adolescent girls in Kenya

    Purpose: The purposes of this article are to identify and review comprehensive sex education programs (CSEPs) available to adolescent females in Kenya, East Africa, to discuss barriers to implementing CSEPs in Kenya, and to highlight the role of nurses in improving and institutionalizing available CSEPs in Kenya. Design: Integrative review. Methods: A systematic search of six databases and other Internet sources was conducted to identify CSEPs currently available to adolescent girls in Kenya. Five CSEPs were identified. The CSEPs were evaluated using established criteria. …

  14. Awareness and knowledge of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among school-going adolescents in Europe: a systematic review of published literature

    This systematic review looks at levels of STI awareness, knowledge and perceived risk of school-going adolescents in Europe. Fifteen studies were included, all of which cross-sectional and conducted among 13 to 20 year olds. Awareness and knowledge varied depending on gender. Awareness on HIV/AIDS was high (over 90%) but low for HPV (5.4%-66%). While knowledge that condoms protect against STIs was high, adolescents viewed it as an interim contraception method before using the pill. In this study, knowledge did not translate into safer sex behavior change. …

  15. HIV prevention for South African youth: which interventions work? A systematic review of current evidence

    South Africa's HIV prevalence among 15-24 year olds is one of the highest in the world. This systematic review looks at the evidence for youth HIV prevention in the country since 2000 and critically assesses interventions across four domains: study design and outcomes; intervention design; thematic focus and HIV causal pathways; and intervention delivery. Eight interventions were included in the review, all similar regarding content and objectives, but with variouis thematic foci, causal pathways, theoretical bases, delivery methods, intensity and duration. …

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