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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Between tradition and modernity: girls’ talk about sexual relationships and violence in Kenya, Ghana and Mozambique

    This paper interrogates the influence of a tradition-modernity dichotomy on perspectives and practices on sexual violence and sexual relationships involving girls in three districts of Kenya, Ghana and Mozambique. Through deploying an analytical framework of positioning within multiple discursive sites, the authors argue that although the dichotomy misrepresents the complexity of contemporary communities, it is nonetheless deployed by girls, educational initiatives and researchers in their reflections on girls’ sexual practices and sexual violence. …

  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. Risk for coerced sex among female youth in Ghana: Roles of family context, school enrollment and relationship experience

    CONTEXT: A better understanding is needed of the variables that may influence the risk of experiencing coerced sex among adolescent females in Sub-Saharan Africa. METHODS: Data were collected from 700 female respondents who were interviewed in 2010 and 2012 waves of a longitudinal study of behavioral risk for HIV infection among youth aged 13–14 or 18–19 and living in two towns in southeastern Ghana. …

  4. Adapting a multifaceted U.S. HIV prevention education program for girls in Ghana

    We adapted a U.S. HIV prevention program to address knowledge gaps and cultural pressures that increase the risk of infection in adolescent Ghanaian girls. The theory-based nine-module HIV prevention program combines didactics and games, an interactive computer program about sugar daddies, and tie-and-dye training to demonstrate an economic alternative to transactional sex. The abstinence-based study was conducted in a church-affiliated junior secondary school in Nsawam, Ghana. Of 61 subjects aged 10-14 in the prevention program, over two thirds were very worried about becoming HIV infected. …

  5. Evaluation of HIV/AIDS prevention through peer education, counselling, health care, training and urban refuges in Ghana

    Since 1996, Ireland Aid has supported UNICEF Ghana in the implementation of five activities that promote behaviour change to limit the spread of HIV/AIDS and STIs. The interventions are run by different local organisations, and have provided over 75,000 in and out-of-school youth and commercial sex workers with preventive education. People retained the information given, are knowledgeable about how HIV is transmitted, and can name key preventive methods. They pass on the information to their friends. Commercial sex workers were empowered to support one another in negotiating for safer sex. …

  6. West African youth initiative: Outcome of a reproductive health education program

    Purpose: To describe the implementation and evaluation of an adolescent reproductive health peer education program in West Africa. The program, known as the West African Youth Initiative (WAYI), was developed to improve knowledge of sexuality and reproductive health, and promote safer sex behaviors and contraceptive use among sexually active adolescents in Nigeria and Ghana. …

  7. Psychosocial processes and sexual initiation among Ghanaian youth

    This study modeled primary abstinence and age at first sex in a cross-sectional sample of Ghanaian youth ages 17 to 22 years. The aim was to examine how reproductive knowledge and social cognitive factors jointly affect the choice to initiate sex. Among males, the authors found that reproductive knowledge is negatively associated with abstinence. Its negative association, however, is moderated by the extent of adult support a respondent receives. Among females, reproductive knowledge is positively associated with abstinence. …

  8. Do stigma, blame and stereotyping contribute to unsafe sexual behaviour? A test of claims about the spread of HIV/AIDS arising from social representation theory and the AIDS risk reduction model

    In the context of social representation theory and the AIDS risk reduction model, it has been claimed that stigmatizing, blaming and stereotyping attitudes make people feel less at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS, and that this, in turn, results in them taking fewer precautions in their sexual behaviour. Previous research has failed to provide convincing evidence to support these claims. The present study provided a test of the claims that addressed some of the methodological issues identified in the earlier research. …

  9. Associations between premarital sex and leaving school in four Sub-Saharan African countries

    This study is an article extracted from "Studies in Family Planning", special issue on "Adolescent sexual and reproductive health in Sub-Saharan Africa", published in December 2008. As formal schooling spreads within sub-Saharan Africa, a growing proportion of adolescents remain enrolled in school when they "come of age". As a consequence more and more adolescents have to negotiate sexual maturation and sexual initiation in a different context than from that of counterparts in prior generations. …

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