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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Gender and sexual vulnerability of young women in Africa: experiences of young girls in secondary schools in Uganda

    Sexuality is part and parcel of students' experiences of schooling manifested in personal friendships, relations and social interaction. These encounters constitute sites within which sexual identities are developed, practiced and actively produced through processes of negotiation. Drawing on qualitative research conducted in 14 selected secondary schools in Central and Western Uganda, the study illuminates gendered sexual vulnerability within patterns of social interaction and young girls gendered experiences and negotiation of their sexuality. …

  2. Having sex, becoming somebody: A qualitative study assessing (sexual) identity development of adolescents living with HIV/AIDS

    A growing number of adolescents are living with HIV/AIDS. For their well-being and for prevention, age- and culturally appropriate interventions become increasingly important. This qualitative study was conducted as the first step to develop a sexual and reproductive health (SRH) intervention. The study's objective was to assess the impact of HIV and related contextual conditions on identity formation of adolescents living with HIV/AIDS (ALH) in the domains of physical, cognitive, social, and sexual development. Data were collected using focus group discussions (FGDs). …

  3. 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. …

  4. 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. …

  5. 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. …

  6. 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. …

  7. Reducing sexual risk taking behaviors among adolescents who engage in transactional sex in post-conflict Liberia

    Transactional sex (TS) has been correlated with HIV/STD infection, pregnancy, early marriage, and sexual violence in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Few Western-based HIV prevention programs adapted for SSA have examined intervention impacts for this group. This article examines whether an HIV prevention intervention, delivered to sixth-grade students in Liberia (age range 14–17) and found to increase condom use and other mediators for the larger sample, significantly impacted sexual behaviors and mediators for those who engaged in TS. …

  8. 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. …

  9. Self-reported sexual behaviour among adolescent girls in Uganda: reliability of data debated

    The objective of this study was to compare self-reported information about sexual behavior in a research interview to information retrieved during a clinical consultation. Social workers interviewed 595 sexually experienced women below 20 years about genital symptoms and sexual behavior. A midwife interviewed and examined the women and took vaginal samples for gonorrhea and chlamydia. Four questions were embedded in both the social workers' interviews and among the midwife's questions. …

  10. HIV among out-of-school youth in Eastern and Southern Africa: a review

    The overall decline of the HIV epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa conceals how the HIV burden has shifted to fall on areas that have been more difficult to reach. This review considers out-of-school youth, a category typically eluding interventions that are school-based. Our review of descriptive studies concentrates on the most affected region, Southern and Eastern Africa, and spans the period between 2000 and 2010. …

  11. Adolescents' perceptions of sexual coercion in Uganda

    In Uganda, HIV prevalence remains high with young people at higher risk of infection than adults. Much is known about the sexual risk factors for HIV transmission among youths, including sexual encounters that are coerced. On the other hand, relatively little is known about the barriers to preventing sexual coercion and what strategies may overcome those barriers with adolescents. …

  12. Addressing sexual violence and HIV risk among married adolescent girls in rural Nyanza, Kenya

    HIV infection is much higher among adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa than among boys. In settings such as Nyanza Province, Kenya, rates of HIV infection are extremely high, and evidence is increasing in some settings that girls who are married are much more likely to be infected with HIV, compared with their unmarried sexually active counterparts. This brief describes a program addressing the problem of sexual violence and the risk of HIV transmission within marriage in Kenya's Nyanza Province. …

  13. Sexual, reproductive health needs and rights of young people with perinatally acquired HIV in Uganda

    The number of young people with perinatally acquired HIV is growing significantly. With antiretroviral drugs, children who get infected at birth with HIV have an opportunity to graduate into adolescence and adulthood. This achievement notwithstanding, new challenges have emerged in their care and support needs, the most dynamic being their sexual and reproductive health needs and rights (SRHR). …

  14. HIV prevention for South African youth: which interventions work? A systematic review of current evidence

    South Africa's HIV prevalence among 15-24 year olds is one of the highest in the world. This systematic review looks at the evidence for youth HIV prevention in the country since 2000 and critically assesses interventions across four domains: study design and outcomes; intervention design; thematic focus and HIV causal pathways; and intervention delivery. Eight interventions were included in the review, all similar regarding content and objectives, but with variouis thematic foci, causal pathways, theoretical bases, delivery methods, intensity and duration. …

  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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