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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. First East and Southern Africa regional symposium: improving menstrual health management for adolescent girls and women

    Menstral health management (MHM) has gained greater attention in recent years. It is now understood as an integrated, cross-sectoral response involving sexual and reproductive health and rights, education and life skills, water, hygiene and sanitation, and waste disposal, both in development and humanitarian contexts. This historic meeting of committed professionals was an important step towards consolidating support for strengthening MHM in the region, particularly since it is implicit in the attainment of several Sustainable Development Goals and those within Agenda 2063. …

  2. How reliable are reports of early adolescent reproductive and sexual health events in demographic and health surveys?

    CONTEXT: Age at sexual debut, age at first marriage or first union and age at first birth are among the most widely used indicators of health and well-being for female adolescents. However, the accuracy of estimates for these indicators, particularly for younger adolescents, is poorly understood. METHODS: For each of nine countries in Africa and Latin America, Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data from two surveys conducted five years apart were used to examine women’s reports of age at sexual debut, marriage or first union, and first birth. …

  3. 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. …

  4. A review of interventions addressing structural drivers of adolescents' sexual and reproductive health vulnerability in sub-Saharan Africa: implications for sexual health programming

    Background: Young people particularly women are at increased risk of undesirable sexual and reproductive health (SRH) outcomes. Structural factors have been reported as driving some of these risks. Although several interventions have targeted some of the structural drivers for adolescent’s SRH risk, little has been done to consolidate such work. This would provide a platform for coordinated efforts towards adolescent’s SRH. …

  5. HIV prevention in Southern Africa for young people with a focus on young women and girls in Botswana

    This review focuses on the major factors that drive HIV infection and explores interventions that have demonstrated effectiveness, as well as illustrating important learnings for programme development. Findings inform understanding of sex and sexuality in relation to HIV risk and the potentials for interventions in the Botswana context.

  6. Preventing sexual violence and HIV in children

    BACKGROUND: Evidence linking violence against women and HIV has grown, including on the cycle of violence and the links between violence against children and women. To create an effective response to the HIV epidemic, it is key to prevent sexual violence against children and intimate partner violence (IPV) against adolescent girls. …

  7. Silenced and forgotten: HIV and AIDS agenda setting paper for women living with HIV, sex workers and LGBT individuals in southern African and Indian Ocean states

    The impact of the HIV and AIDS epidemic is felt hardest by the individuals who are infected or affected by the disease, and in particular by individuals who are especially vulnerable to HIV infection due to stigma and discrimination, poverty, a lack of access to education, health and other services that promote HIV awareness. However, the impact of HIV and AIDS goes beyond the individual or household level – it affects nations as a whole. …

  8. If I buy the Kellogg’s then he should [buy] the milk: young women’s perspectives on relationship dynamics, gender power and HIV risk in Johannesburg, South Africa

    Ideals of masculinity and femininity may limit South African women's decision making power in relationships and increase their risk of HIV infection. The authors conducted 30 in-depth interviews with 18-24-year-old women in inner-city Johannesburg with the aim of understanding young women's expectations of intimate relationships with men, their perceptions of gender and power and how this influences HIV risk. …

  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. Economic status, education and risky sexual behavior for urban Botswana women

    This study investigated the relationship between economic status, education and risky sexual behavior for urban Botswana women. The data used are a nationally representative sample from the Botswana AIDS Impact Survey conducted in 2004. An un-weighted sample of 2215 women aged 15-49, who have had sexual intercourse was considered for analysis. Both bivariate and multivariate analyses are used to gain insights into the potential linkages between economic status, education and risky sexual behavior. …

  11. Impact of HIV/AIDS education programmes on sexual behaviour of female students in Nigerian schools: Policy implications for scientific and technolgical development

    This study investigated the impact of HIV/AIDS education programmes on sexual behaviors of female students in senior secondary schools in Rivers State of Nigeria. The population for the study comprised of all senior secondary schools female students in Nigeria, which was divided into urban and rural schools. The sample size was 200 female students obtained by using stratified random sampling technique. …

  12. I did it for him, not for me: an exploratory study of factors influencing sexual debut among female university students in Durban, South Africa

    The authors used qualitative interviews to explore influences on first sexual intercourse among 10 young women who had sexual debut within a year of enrolling in the university. University culture of sexual permissiveness and pressure from sexually experienced friends and male partners were the main factors influencing sexual debut. Ambivalence and a range of coercive behaviors characterized first sex. Participants were unprepared for sex and lacked power in deciding the timing and circumstances of first sex, which resulted in physical and emotional pain and regret. …

  13. Individual and community-level tolerance of spouse abuse and the association with the circumstances of first sex among youth from six sub-Saharan African countries

    Youth who engage in early and premarital sex are at risk of HIV and sexually transmitted infections. Most prevention programs ignore the mediating influence of the threat and experience of violence on these outcomes. Using nationally representative data from Lesotho, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, the autors used multivariate analyses to examine the association between individual- and community-level tolerance of spouse abuse on the age and circumstances of sexual debut among female youth. The youth sample sizes ranged from a high of 5007 in Malawi to a low of 3050 in Lesotho. …

  14. Gender and sexuality: emerging perspectives from the heterosexual epidemic in South Africa and implications for HIV risk and prevention

    Research shows that gender power inequity in relationships and intimate partner violence places women at enhanced risk of HIV infection. Men who have been violent towards their partners are more likely to have HIV. Men's behaviours show a clustering of violent and risky sexual practices, suggesting important connections. This paper draws on Raewyn Connell's notion of hegemonic masculinity and reflections on emphasized femininities to argue that these sexual, and male violent, practices are rooted in and flow from cultural ideals of gender identities. …

  15. Reproductive health for refugees by refugees in Guinea IV: Peer education and HIV knowledge, attitudes, and reported practices

    Peer education has long been used to promote HIV awareness and reduce risk. However, little has been written about its use in refugee settings. This study aimed to assess whether refugee peer education could improve HIV knowledge, attitudes and practices among Guinean refugees. The study also assessed whether gender, age or formal education were more strongly associated to improved HIV outcomes than peer education. Data was collected through a cross-sectional survey of 889 men and women in 23 camps throughout the Forest Region, Guinea. …

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