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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Causal effects of education on sexual and reproductive health in low and middle-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    Despite strong theoretical grounding, important gaps in knowledge remain regarding the degree to which there is a causal relationship between education and sexual and reproductive health, as many claims have been made based on associations alone. Understanding the extent to which these relationships are causal is important both to inform investments in education and health, as well as to understand the mechanisms underlying these relationships. …

  2. Reducing pregnancy among adolescents

    Across a range of programs, interventions that successfully changed the calculus of costs and benefits of unprotected sexual activity and childbirth delayed pregnancy among adolescents. Some programs directly altered costs and benefits while others shifted perceptions of them

  3. 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. …

  4. Sexual and reproductive health outcomes are positively associated with comprehensive sexual education exposure in Mexican high-school students

    This paper provides evidence of the potential beneficial effects of CSE on attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors regarding sexual and reproductive health among adolescents. In addition, it identifies areas that should be strengthened to increase the positive impact of CSE.

  5. Creating an enabling environment for adolescent sexual and reproductive health: a framework and promising approaches

    This article provides a conceptual framework and points out the key elements for creating enabling environments for adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH). An ecological framework is applied to organize the key elements of enabling environments for ASRH. At the individual level, strategies that are being implemented and seem promising are those that empower girls, build their individual assets, and create safe spaces. …

  6. 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). …

  7. What do young people think about their school-based sex and relationship education? A qualitative synthesis of young people’s views and experiences

    Objectives: Although sex and relationship education (SRE) represents a key strand in policies to safeguard young people and improve their sexual health, it currently lacks statutory status, government guidance is outdated and a third of UK schools has poor-quality SRE. We aimed to investigate whether current provision meets young people's needs. Design: Synthesis of qualitative studies of young people's views of their school-based SRE. Setting: Eligible studies originated from the UK, Ireland, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Iran, Brazil and Sweden. …

  8. Ensuring youth’s right to participation and promotion of youth leadership in the development of sexual and reproductive health policies and programs

    The purpose of this article was to reflect on the concepts of adolescence and youth, summarize models and frameworks developed to conceptualize youth participation, and assess research that has attempted to evaluate the implementation and impact of youth participation in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).The authors searched and critically reviewed relevant published reports and “gray literature” from the period 2000–2013. …

  9. Early marriage and sexual and reproductive health vulnerabilities of young women: a synthesis of recent evidence from developing countries

    Purpose of review: To review current evidence on the links between early marriage and health-related outcomes for young women and their children. Recent findings: Every third young woman in the developing countries excluding China continues to marry as a child, that is before age 18. Recent studies reiterate the adverse health consequences of early marriage among young women and their children even after a host of confounding factors are controlled. …

  10. Youth participation in HIV and sexual and reproductive health decision-making, policies, programmes: perspectives from the field

    The purpose of this article was to present the current state of evidence and experience of youth participation approaches in HIV and sexual and reproductive health decision-making, policies and programmes. By combining a literature review of evaluation evidence with in-depth interviews and a global survey targeting young people with the experience of participation, this study opens a new window into the support needs for meaningful youth participation globally. …

  11. 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. …

  12. What is best practice in sex and relationship education? A synthesis of evidence, including stakeholders’ views

    Sex and relationship education (SRE) is regarded as vital to improving young people's sexual health, but a third of schools in England lacks good SRE and government guidance is outdated. The authors aimed to identify what makes SRE programmes effective, acceptable, sustainable and capable of faithful implementation. […] They identified key features of effective and acceptable SRE. Their best practice criteria can be used to evaluate existing programmes, contribute to the development of new programmes and inform consultations around statutory SRE.

  13. A farewell to abstinence and fidelity? Comment

    Sex has regularly proven to be a polarising issue for the UN Member States, and the 2016 High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS on June 8–10 was no exception. The Political Declaration adopted at the meeting addresses the sexual health needs of young people (15–24 years), including adolescents (11–19 years). 2000 new HIV infections occur among young people every day. HIV is the leading cause of death among adolescents in Africa, and the second-highest cause of death worldwide in this age group. …

  14. Detailed methodology for systematic reviews of interventions to improve the sexual and reproductive health of young people in low- and middle-income countries

    The goal of this project was to systematically review and compile evidence on interventions in low- and middle-income countries, which targeted three adverse health-related outcomes for young people (ages 10–24): (1) early pregnancy and repeat pregnancy; (2) child marriage; and (3) sexually transmitted infections including human immunodeficiency virus. The authors searched the gray and published literature to identify interventions and developed a scoring system to assess whether these interventions and their evaluations were of high quality. …

  15. 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. …

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