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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Learners’ perspectives on the provision of condoms in South African public schools

    A stubborn health challenge for learners in South African public schools concerns sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). In 2015, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) proposed the provision of condoms and SRHR-services to learners in schools. This study aimed to contribute to the finalisation and implementation of DBE’s policy by exploring learners’ perspectives on the provision of condoms and SRHR-services in schools. …

  2. ‘… a huge monster that should be feared and not done’: Lessons learned in sexuality education classes in South Africa

    Research has foregrounded the way in which heterosexual practices for many young people are not infrequently bound up with violence and unequal transactional power relations. The Life Orientation sexuality education curriculum in South African schools has been viewed as a potentially valuable space to work with young people on issues of reproductive health, gender and sexual norms and relations. …

  3. Creating Futures: lessons from the development of a livelihood-strengthening curriculum for young people in eThekwini's informal settlements

    Comprehending praxis is a critical step in developing interventions that can have a real-world impact on people's lives. In this paper, we reflect on the lessons learned in the development of a curriculum for young people living in informal settlements in eThekwini, who are exposed to numerous vulnerabilities, including HIV-related risks associated with precarious urban livelihoods. Behavioural interventions have not led to commensurate reductions in HIV incidence, and the impact of these approaches remains regulated by numerous contextual conditions affecting those participating. …

  4. The shrinking world of girls at puberty: violence and gender-divergent access to the public sphere among adolescents in South Africa

    Participatory mapping was undertaken with single-sex groups of grade 5 and grade 8–9 children in KwaZulu-Natal. Relative to grade 5 students, wide gender divergence in access to the public sphere was found at grade 8–9. With puberty, girls' worlds shrink, while boys' expand. At grade 5, female-defined community areas were equal or larger in size than those of males. Community area mapped by urban grade 8–9 girls, however, was only one-third that of male classmates and two-fifths that of grade 5 girls. Conversely, community area mapped by grade 8–9 boys was twice that of grade 5 boys. …

  5. The HIV and AIDS academic curriculum in higher education

    While a university's core business of teaching, research and engagement is underpinned by national and global imperatives, the purpose of the university is embedded in students' realities of living, learning and working in the world. A key challenge for all academics, therefore, is to keep their academic project, whether in engineering or health sciences, 'embedded in the students', while at the same time, preparing them for work in the world. …

  6. Teaching lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender health in a South African health sciences faculty: addressing the gap

    Background: People who identity as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) have specific health needs. Sexual orientation and gender identity are social determinants of health, as homophobia and heteronormativity persist as prejudices in society. LGBT patients often experience discrimination and prejudice in health care settings. While recent South African policies recognise the need for providing LGBT specific health care, no curricula for teaching about LGBT health related issues exist in South African health sciences faculties. …

  7. Sexuality educators: taking a stand by participating in research

    Life Orientation teachers play a critical role in the teaching and learning of sexuality education in South African schools. Using an experiential participatory approach with 125 teachers in the Motheo district, Free State, I explored three questions: What messages did the teachers learn about sex and sexuality? How do these messages inform the teachers’ values? How do the teachers teach sexuality education? Despite its own problems and limitations, the participatory approach exploits and reinforces the life-space model proposed by Kurt Lewin. …

  8. 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). …

  9. 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. …

  10. Early adolescent pregnancy increases risk of incident HIV infection in the Eastern Cape, South Africa: a longitudinal study

    INTRODUCTION: Adolescents having unprotected heterosexual intercourse are at risk of HIV infection and unwanted pregnancy. However, there is little evidence to indicate whether pregnancy in early adolescence increases the risk of subsequent HIV infection. In this paper, we tested the hypothesis that adolescent pregnancy (aged 15 or younger) increases the risk of incident HIV infection in young South African women. …

  11. 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. …

  12. ‘‘AIDS is rape!’’ Gender and sexuality in children’s responses to HIV and AIDS

    This paper examines young African school children’s understanding of HIV and AIDS. Based on focus group interviews with children aged 7–8 in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa, it explores the ways in which gender and sexuality feature in their responses to the disease. Data were collected between 2003 and 2004 through 26 focus groups involving 55 boys and 64 girls. The paper argues that younger children are active agents in giving meaning to the disease. …

  13. Indigenous knowledge in the context of sexual and reproductive health and rights amongst the Tsonga/Shangaan speaking people in a rural community of Limpopo Province: A social work perspective

    Indigenous communities seek and achieve empowerment and self-determination through the preservation, protection and revitalisation of their indigenous knowledge which have been eroded by colonization, western culture and more recently by globalization. Indigenous knowledge systems refer to the unique, traditional, local knowledge existing within a particular environment and developed around the specific conditions of people indigenous to a particular geographical area. …

  14. An innovative online HIV/STI prevention programme in higher education: preliminary results NMMU

    The objectives were to determine risky sexual behavioural trends and health promotion needs among students, to develop an online HIV/STI prevention programme utilising the NMMU intranet portal. Descriptive data regarding demographics, sexual behaviour, internet usage and the relevance of various health promotion messages were included in an online questionnaire. Participants' attitude towards risk behaviour was also assessed using ten outcome questions rated on a five-point Likert scale. …

  15. Condom access in South African schools: law, policy, and practice

    South Africa’s recently adopted Children’s Act provides children the right to access reproductive health services as a way of addressing the HIV pandemic, but there remains confusion about how socially divisive rights provided for by the Act, such as condom access for youth, will be achieved. The Children’s Act, together with South African government policies, allows individual schools to decide whether to distribute condoms, but most school staff are unaware of South African policy and regulations governing condom provision in schools. …

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