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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. Challenges to implementing national comprehensive sexuality education curricula in low- and middle-income countries: case studies of Ghana, Kenya, Peru and Guatemala

    School-based comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) can help adolescents achieve their full potential and realize their sexual and reproductive health and rights. This is particularly pressing in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where high rates of unintended pregnancy and STIs among adolescents can limit countries’ ability to capitalize on the demographic dividend. While many LMICs have developed CSE curricula, their full implementation is often hindered by challenges around program planning and roll-out at the national and local level. …

  3. Parents’ and teachers’ views on sexual health education and screening for sexually transmitted infections among in-school adolescent girls in Kenya: a qualitative study

    Background: To successfully develop and implement school-based sexual health interventions for adolescent girls, such as screening for Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Trichomonas vaginalis, it is important to understand parents’ and teachers’ attitudes towards sexual health education and acceptability of sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening interventions. Methods: In this qualitative study, we approached parents and teachers from three high schools to participate in in-depth interviews (IDIs) and focus-group discussions (FGDs). …

  4. Affective engagement with research evidence about young people’s sex education in Kenya

    Sex and relationships have a big impact on young people’s lives. For most young people in the world getting information about sexual pleasure, apart from pornography, can be difficult. And it’s even harder if you live in parts of the world where you often aren’t able to decide who to date or marry, or how many children you want to have. For this reason online information on sexuality is hugely popular. Research suggests that young people are arriving at sex education sites mostly through campaigns on social media. …

  5. The role of partners’ educational attainment in the association between HIV and education amongst women in seven sub-Saharan African countries

    Introduction: Individuals’ educational attainment has long been considered as a risk factor for HIV. However, little attention has been paid to the association between partner educational attainment and HIV infection. Methods: We conducted cross-sectional analysis of young women (aged 1534) in 14 Demographic and Health Surveys from seven sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries with generalized HIV epidemics. …

  6. Policy scripts and students' realities regarding sexuality education in secondary schools in Kenya

    This paper explores the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) policy context and the realities facing in-school young people in Kenya. It is based on a review of the health and education sector policy documents as well as data from self-administered questionnaires with 3624 male and female students from eight secondary schools in Nairobi. Findings show that although the policies emphasise the right to access accurate SRH information, there are restrictions on the content of messages that can be provided to in-school young people. …

  7. Challenges of school re-entry among teenage mothers in primary schools in Muhoroni district, Western Kenya

    Much has been done towards attainment of gender equity in education as envisaged in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), yet gender disparities persist in many parts of the country. Studies indicate that most of girls who drop out of school do not return to class after childbirth despite provisions for it. The purpose of this study was to examine factors that influence re-entry of school girl mothers in primary schools in Muhoroni District, Kisumu County in western Kenya. …

  8. Unintended pregnancies among young women living in urban slums: Evidence from a prospective study in Nairobi City, Kenya

    Background: Despite the significant proportion of young people residing in slum communities, little attention has been paid to the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) challenges they face during their transition to adulthood within this harsh environment. Little is known about the extent to which living in extreme environments, like slums, impact SRH outcomes, especially during this key developmental period. …

  9. 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. …

  10. 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. …

  11. Cost analysis of school-based sexuality education programs in six countries

    Policy-makers who are making decisions on sexuality education programs face important economic questions: what are the costs of developing sexuality education programs; and what are the costs of implementing and scaling them up? This study responds to these questions by assessing the costs of six school-based sexuality education programs (Nigeria, Kenya, Indonesia, India, Estonia and the Netherlands). Cost analyses were carried out in schools that were fully implementing a SE program, as this best reflects the resources needed to run an effective program. …

  12. 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. …

  13. Mother-daughter communication about sexual maturation, abstinence and unintended pregnancy: Experiences form an informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya

    Parental communication and support is associated with improved developmental, health and behavioral outcomes in adolescence. This study explores the quality of mother-daughter communication about sexual maturation, abstinence and unintended pregnancy in Korogocho, an informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya. We use data from 14 focus group discussions (n = 124) and 25 interviews with girls aged 12-17, mothers of teenage girls, and key informant teachers. …

  14. Factors associated with HIV infection among sexually experienced adolescents in Africa: a pooled data analysis

    The article examines the factors associated with HIV status among adolescents aged 15–19 years in 13 African countries. The data were derived from demographic and health surveys or AIDS indicator surveys conducted between 2004 and 2009. The levels of HIV prevalence among adolescents varied considerably across the countries. There was significantly higher HIV prevalence among female adolescents as compared with their male counterparts. For male adolescents, circumcision was the only variable significantly associated with HIV status. …

  15. The Relationship History Calendar: Improving the Scope and Quality of Data on Youth Sexual Behavior

    Most survey data on sexual activities are obtained via face-to-face interviews, which are prone to misreporting of socially unacceptable behaviors. Demographers have developed various private response methods to minimize social desirability bias and improve the quality of reporting; however, these methods often limit the complexity of information collected. We designed a life history calendar - the Relationship History Calendar (RHC) - to increase the scope of data collected on sexual relationships and behavior while enhancing their quality. …

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