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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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. …

  2. 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. …

  3. Gender inequality and HIV transmission: a global analysis

    Introduction: The HIV pandemic disproportionately impacts young women. Worldwide, young women aged 15–24 are infected with HIV at rates twice that of young men, and young women alone account for nearly a quarter of all new HIV infections. The incommensurate HIV incidence in young – often poor – women underscores how social and economic inequalities shape the HIV epidemic. Confluent social forces, including political and gender violence, poverty, racism, and sexism impede equal access to therapies and effective care, but most of all constrain the agency of women. …

  4. 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. …

  5. 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. …

  6. Gendered perceptions of HIV risk among young women and men in a high-HIV-prevalence setting

    It has become evident that sexual health and HIV-risk behaviours cannot be addressed effectively without paying adequate attention to constructions of gender and sexuality. While the body of literature examining these themes is growing and becoming more nuanced, there is still a significant gap in our understanding of the relationship between gendered sexual identities and vulnerabilities to disease. In particular, few studies have explored how youths themselves perceive this relationship, and how these perceptions may differ among males and females. …

  7. Enhancing financial literacy, HIV/AIDS skills, and safe social spaces among vulnerable South African youth

    South Africa is disproportionately affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The country has less than one percent of the world's 15-24-year-olds, yet these young people account for approximately 14 percent of all global HIV infections among this age group. Young women are at particular risk among 15-24 year-olds, four times as many females as males are living with HIV (16.9 percent versus 4.4 percent) and girls are becoming infected at much faster rates than boys. …

  8. Advocacy for sexual and reproductive health : the challenge in India

    Six years after the Indian government affirmed its commitment to the principles of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, there is still a limited understanding of the concept of reproductive and sexual health among policymakers, programme managers and the public in India. Despite some progressive changes, there is a continuing focus on stabilising population growth rates and lack of unity of goals among women's rights advocates, service providers and policymakers. …

  9. Emergency contraceptive pills: an important option for young adults

    This issue concentrates on the questions of "What are emergency contraceptive pills and how do they work?", "What are the advantages of ECPs for youth?", "What are the drawbacks of ECPs?", "What have been the experiences of programmes offering ECPs for youth?", "What are the barriers to the use of ECPs by young adults?", "Are there ECP programmes underway in developing countries?", and "What is the take-home message?"

  10. Factors that determine utilisation of modern contraceptives in East, Central and Southern Africa

    This is a cross-sectional study to determine modern contraceptive use among women aged between 15 and 19 years. This study was carried out between September and October of 1991 in five East, Central and Southern African countries, both in urban and rural areas.

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