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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. 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. …

  3. The revised international technical guidance on sexuality education - a powerful tool at an important crossroads for sexuality education

    In January 2018, UNESCO, together with UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, and the WHO, completed the substantial technical and political process of updating the International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education, thereby unifying a UN position on rationale, evidence, and guidance on designing and delivering comprehensive sexuality education (CSE).

  4. 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

  5. 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. …

  6. 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.

  7. A time for global action: addressing girls’ menstrual hygiene management needs in schools

    Summary Points: There is an absence of guidance, facilities, and materials for schoolgirls to manage their menstruation in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Formative evidence has raised awareness that poor menstrual hygiene management (MHM) contributes to inequity, increasing exposure to transactional sex to obtain sanitary items, with some evidence of an effect on school indicators and with repercussions for sexual, reproductive, and general health throughout the life course. …

  8. The HIV and sexual reproductive health status of young people in Swaziland: the rationale for focused youth investment

    Methods: The HIV and Sexual Reproductive Health Status of Young People in Swaziland analysis were prepared in stages: desk review and analysis, consultations/interview meetings with key stakeholders, data analysis and compilation of the report.Results and discussion: Early sexual debut, high adolescent fertility rate, unmet need for family planning, and on-going problems with sexual and gender based violence (GBV) are some of the key issues faced by young people in terms of reproductive health in Swaziland.

  9. Probing the politics of comprehensive sexuality education: ‘Universality’ versus ‘Cultural Sensitivity’: a Dutch–Bangladeshi collaboration on adolescent sexuality education

    As part of Western European development aid policy, comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) is increasingly promoted in resource-poor countries. This paper engages with CSE promotion in Bangladesh funded by the Dutch Government. It unpacks the ‘collaboration’ by looking at how a paradox is played out between the universal ideals underlying a broader transnational rights-approach and the intended cultural sensitivity by adapting CSE to the targeted context. …

  10. 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. …

  11. Global, regional, and subregional trends in unintended pregnancy and its outcomes from 1990 to 2014: estimates from a Bayesian hierarchical model

    Estimates of pregnancy incidence by intention status and outcome indicate how effectively women and couples are able to fulfil their childbearing aspirations, and can be used to monitor the impact of family-planning programmes. We estimate global, regional, and subregional pregnancy rates by intention status and outcome for 1990–2014.

  12. 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. …

  13. 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). …

  14. 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. …

  15. 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. …

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