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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Rethinking HIV-prevention for school-going young people based on current behaviour patterns

    The aim of the research was to gain increased knowledge regarding the sexual risk behaviour of school-going young people in South Africa after two decades of HIV-education in schools, to contribute to the development of improved HIV prevention strategies. In collaboration with the Department of Education, a sample of 5305 learners (between 10 and 18 years in Grades 5–12) from high-risk communities were identified. …

  2. Picture that: supporting sexuality educators in narrowing the knowledge/practice gap

    Teaching about sex and relationships is one of the greatest challenges in not only the combating of HIV and AIDS, but also in preparing the youth for responsible sexual behaviour. Although it seems as if teachers to some extent do feel comfortable with the teaching of sexuality education at school, the question however remains as to whether youth get the information they require. In this article, are presented drawings produced by teacher participants in order to investigate the beliefs that teachers hold regarding young people’s needs from sexuality education. …

  3. 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. …

  4. ‘… a huge monster that should be feared and not done’: Lessons learned in sexuality education classes in South Africa

    Research has foregrounded the way in which heterosexual practices for many young people are not infrequently bound up with violence and unequal transactional power relations. The Life Orientation sexuality education curriculum in South African schools has been viewed as a potentially valuable space to work with young people on issues of reproductive health, gender and sexual norms and relations. …

  5. Accessing the ‘right’ kinds of material and symbolic capital: the role of cash transfers in reducing adolescent school absence and risky behaviour in South Africa

    This article investigates how well South Africa’s Child Support Grant (CSG) responds to the material and psychosocial needs of adolescents, and the resultant effects on schooling and risky behaviour. One driver of schooling decisions is shame related to poverty and the ‘social cost’ of school, where a premium must often be paid for fashionable clothes or accessories. The other driver relates to symbolic and consumptive capital gained through engaging in sexual exchange relationships. The anticipated impacts from the CSG are partial because of these non-material drivers of adolescent choices. …

  6. When caring is not enough: The limits of teachers’ support for South African primary school-girls in the context of sexual violence

    Between 2011 and 2012, 40.1% of all sexual offences in South Africa involved children under 18. Important scholarship has demonstrated how large-scale social and economic inequalities structure African girls’ risk to and experience of sexual violence leading to a condemnation of violent masculinities and the social processes that produce it. Under conditions of chronic poverty and unstable living conditions, girls’ vulnerability to sexual violence is increased. …

  7. Child-focused state cash transfers and adolescent risk of HIV infection in South Africa: a propensity-score-matched case-control study

    Background: Effective and scalable HIV prevention for adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa is needed. Cash transfers can reduce HIV incidence through reducing risk behaviours. However, questions remain about their effectiveness within national poverty-alleviation programmes, and their effects on different behaviours in boys and girls. Methods: In this case-control study, we interviewed South African adolescents (aged 10–18 years) between 2009 and 2012. …

  8. Application of the information, motivation and behavioural skills model for targeting HIV risk behaviour amongst adolescent learners in South Africa

    This paper discusses the application of an information, motivation and behavioural skills (IMB) model in a school-based programme for the reduction of HIV risk behaviour among 259 Grade 11 learners in two high schools in Alexandra township, Johannesburg. School 1 was the Experimental group, while School 2 was the Control group. After a baseline study (Time 1) at both schools, a 3-week intervention programme was conducted at School 1. A post-test (Time 2) was conducted at both schools. The intervention was repeated at School 2, followed by another post-test (Time 3) at both schools. …

  9. Trends in HIV prevalence and sexual behaviour among young people aged 15-24 years in countries most affected by HIV

    Objectives: In 2001 the United Nations (UN) Declaration of Commitment was signed by 189 countries with a goal to reduce HIV prevalence among young people by 25% by 2010. Progress towards this target is assessed. In addition, changes in reported sexual behaviour among young people aged 15e24 years are investigated. Methods: Thirty countries most affected by HIV were invited to participate in the study. Trends in HIV prevalence among young antenatal clinic (ANC) attendees were analysed using data from sites that were consistently included in surveillance between 2000 and 2008. …

  10. An innovative online HIV/STI prevention programme in higher education: preliminary results NMMU

    The objectives were to determine risky sexual behavioural trends and health promotion needs among students, to develop an online HIV/STI prevention programme utilising the NMMU intranet portal. Descriptive data regarding demographics, sexual behaviour, internet usage and the relevance of various health promotion messages were included in an online questionnaire. Participants' attitude towards risk behaviour was also assessed using ten outcome questions rated on a five-point Likert scale. …

  11. Young people's sexual health in South Africa: HIV prevalence and sexual behaviors from a nationally representative household surevy

    Objectives: To determine the prevalence of HIV infection, HIV risk factors, and exposure to national HIV prevention programs, and to identify factors associated with HIV infection among South African youth, aged 15–24 years. Design: A cross-sectional, nationally representative, household survey. Methods: From March to August 2003 we conducted a national survey of HIV prevalence and sexual behavior among 11 904 15–24 year olds. Multivariable models for HIV infection were restricted to sexually experienced youth. …

  12. Sexual behaviour and knowledge regarding sexually transmitted infections among undergraduate students in Durban, South Africa

    The objective of this cross-sectional study was to identify the sexual behavior and knowledge of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) amongst 752 undergraduate university students in South Africa, using self-administered questionnaires. More than half reported presently being sexually active, the majority used contraceptives and especially used condoms. Almost a third of the sample, had multiple sexual partners, and more than a quarter of them reported to have sex under the influence of alcohol. …

  13. Masculinities and condom use patterns among young rural South Africa men: a cross-sectional baseline survey

    Notions of ideal manhood in South Africa are potentially prescriptive of male sexuality thus accounting for the behaviors which may lead to men being at greater HIV risk. We tested the hypothesis that gender and relationship constructs are associated with condom use among young men living in rural South Africa. 1219 men aged 15–26 years completed a cross-sectional baseline survey from an IsiXhosa questionnaire asking about sexual behaviour and relationships. …

  14. HIV infection and sexual risk behaviour among youth who have experienced orphanhood: systematic review and meta-analysis

    Background: Previous research has suggested that orphaned children and adolescents might have elevated risk for HIV infection. We examined the state of evidence regarding the association between orphan status and HIV risk in studies of youth aged 24 years and younger. Methods: Using systematic review methodology, we identified 10 studies reporting data from 12 countries comparing orphaned and non-orphaned youth on HIV-related risk indicators, including HIV serostatus, other sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy and sexual behaviours. …

  15. 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. …

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