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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Proposing a conceptual framework to address social norms that influence adolescent sexual and reproductive health

    With 1.8 billion young people aged 10-24 years in the world today, the cohort of adolescents and youth is the largest in history. Concurrently, millions of adolescents are confronting sexual and reproductive health (SRH) challenges, including high rates of unmet need for contraception, unintended pregnancy, and clandestine and unsafe abortion. Social norms or shared understandings of how oneself and others should behave can alleviate or exacerbate these challenges. …

  2. Is the sexual behaviour of young people in sub-Saharan Africa influenced by their peers? A systematic review

    Adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa are highly vulnerable to HIV, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies. Evidence for the effectiveness of individual behaviour change interventions in reducing incidence of HIV and other biological outcomes is limited, and the need to address the social conditions in which young people become sexually active is clear. Adolescents' peers are a key aspect of this social environment and could have important influences on sexual behaviour. There has not yet been a systematic review on the topic in sub-Saharan Africa. …

  3. Effects of peer education intervention on HIV/AIDS related sexual behaviors of secondary school students in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: a quasi-experimental study

    Background: Worldwide, about 50 % of all new cases of HIV occur in youth between age 15 and 24 years. Studies in various sub-Saharan African countries show that both out of school and in school adolescents and youth are engaged in risky sexual behaviors. School-based health education has been a cornerstone of youth-focused HIV prevention efforts since the early 1990s. In addition, peer-based interventions have become a common method to effect important health-related behavior changes and address the HIV/AIDS pandemic. …

  4. 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. …

  5. What does not work in adolescent sexual and reproductive health: a review of evidence on interventions commonly accepted as best practices

    Youth centers, peer education, and one-off public meetings have generally been ineffective in facilitating young people's access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, changing their behaviors, or influencing social norms around adolescent SRH. Approaches that have been found to be effective when well implemented, such as comprehensive sexuality education and youth-friendly services, have tended to flounder as they have considerable implementation requirements that are seldom met. …

  6. 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. …

  7. Rwandan young people's perceptions on sexuality and relationships: Results from a qualitative study using the ‘mailbox technique’

    This study aimed to gain more insight into young Rwandans' perceptions on sex and relationships, which is essential for formulating effective sexual and reproductive health (SRH) promotion interventions. Using a 'mailbox technique', this paper studies the spontaneous thoughts of Rwandan young people on sexuality. Mailboxes were installed in five secondary schools in the Bugesera district and students were invited to write about their ideas, secrets, wishes, desires and fears on sexuality and relationships. Of the 186 letters collected, 154 addressed SRH topics. …

  8. Let’s talk about sex: A qualitative study of Rwandan adolescents’ views on sex and HIV

    Objective: This qualitative study explored the views and experiences of adolescents with perinatally acquired HIV in Kigali, Rwanda, regarding sex, love, marriage, children and hope for the future. Design: The study enrolled 42 adolescents who had received combination antiretroviral therapy for at least 12 months, and a selection of their primary caregivers. Study methods included 3 multiple day workshops consisting of role-playing and focus group discussions (FGDs) with adolescents, 8 in-depth interviews with adolescents, and one FGD with caregivers. …

  9. Prevalence of pattern of risky behaviors for reproductive and sexual health among middle- and high-school students

    This research aimed to establish the prevalence and factors associated with the pattern of risky behavior for reproductive and sexual health (PRBRSH) among secondary education students in Santa Marta, Colombia. A cross-sectional study was done. The PRBRSH was defined as having had two or more out of four possible risky sexual practices across the lifetime. Logistic regression was calculated to control for confounding variables. In total, 804 students reported lifetime sexual intercourse. PRBRSH was reported by 36.1% of the sample. …

  10. Lessons learned from a review of interventions for adolescent and young key populations in Asia Pacific and opportunities for programming

    BACKGROUND: Over a third of new HIV infections globally are among 15-24 year-olds and over 20% among adolescents aged 10-19 years in Asia Pacific. The review was initiated to identify interventions in the region with demonstrated or potential impact for adolescent and young key populations (YKP) looking at the role of individual and structural factors in accessibility and delivery. The review is a component of a more comprehensive review undertaken by UNICEF and partners in the region. METHODS:This was a desk review of over 1000 articles, and 37 were selected. …

  11. Effects of peer education on AIDS knowledge and sexual behavior among youths on national service and secondary school students in Nigeria

    Young persons are disproportionately affected by the impact of HIV in Nigeria. This paper presents findings from an evaluation of a national youth HIV prevention program designed to determine the effects of HIV prevention intervention (HPI) on Youths on Compulsory National Service (YoCNS) and Adolescents in Secondary Schools (AiSS). Data were collected from 229 YoCNS who received training on HIV prevention and 231 of their counterparts who did not. Among AiSS, data were collected from 909 respondents who were trained as peer educators and among 1005 students who were not. …

  12. Commentary: Innovations in Programming for HIV Among Adolescents: Towards an AIDS-Free Generation

    In the effort to halt and reverse the spread of HIV and AIDS among adolescents, public health and medical experts, moral and political authorities across the globe have implemented a combination of interventions. …

  13. Cash plus care: social protection cumulatively mitigates HIV-risk behaviour among adolescents in South Africa

    Objectives: It is not known whether cumulative ‘cash plus care’ interventions can reduce adolescent HIV-infection risks in sub-Saharan Africa. This study investigated whether parental AIDS and other environmental adversities increase adolescent HIVrisk behaviour and whether social protection provision of ‘cash’ or integrated ‘cash plus care’ reduces HIV-risk behaviour. Design: A prospective observational study with random sampling (<2.5% baseline refusal, 1-year follow-up, 96.8% retention). …

  14. The Government of Kenya’s Cash Transfer Program Reduces the Risk of Sexual Debut among Young People Age 15-25

    The aim of this study is to assess whether the Government of Kenya’s Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (Kenya CT-OVC) can reduce the risk of HIV among young people by postponing sexual debut. The program provides an unconditional transfer of US$20 per month directly to the main caregiver in the household. An evaluation of the program was implemented in 2007–2009 in seven districts. Fourteen Locations were randomly assigned to receive the program and fourteen were assigned to a control arm. A sample of households was enrolled in the evaluation in 2007. …

  15. An innovative approach to using both cellphones and the radio to identify young people’s sexual concerns in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

    Background: As teenagers have easy access to both radio programs and cell phones, the current study used these tools so that young people could anonymously identify questions about sex and other related concerns in the urban environment of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The purpose of this healthcare intervention was to identify and address concerns raised by young people, which are related to sexual health, and which promote youth health. Methods: This healthcare intervention was conducted over a six month period and consisted of a survey carried out in Kinshasa. …

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