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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. First East and Southern Africa regional symposium: improving menstrual health management for adolescent girls and women

    Menstral health management (MHM) has gained greater attention in recent years. It is now understood as an integrated, cross-sectoral response involving sexual and reproductive health and rights, education and life skills, water, hygiene and sanitation, and waste disposal, both in development and humanitarian contexts. This historic meeting of committed professionals was an important step towards consolidating support for strengthening MHM in the region, particularly since it is implicit in the attainment of several Sustainable Development Goals and those within Agenda 2063. …

  2. The effect of a conditional cash transfer on HIV incidence in young women in rural South Africa (HPTN 068): a phase 3, randomised controlled trial

    Cash transfers have been proposed as an intervention to reduce HIV-infection risk for young women in sub-Saharan Africa. However, scarce evidence is available about their effect on reducing HIV acquisition. The authors aimed to assess the effect of a conditional cash transfer on HIV incidence among young women in rural South Africa. Based on their research findings, the authors draw the conclusion that cash transfers conditional on school attendance did not reduce HIV incidence in young women. School attendance significantly reduced risk of HIV acquisition, irrespective of study group. …

  3. The people living with HIV stigma index: South Africa 2014. Summary Report

    The South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) has announced concrete measures to tackle persistent forms of stigma and discrimination that continue to affect large numbers of people infected with HIV and/or TB. These measures include a legal advice and litigation service offered through the nationwide network of Justice Centres run by Legal Aid South Africa. SANAC Chair Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Deputy Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla launched the campaign on Tuesday 9 June in Durban at the release of nationwide research commissioned by SANAC to establish a Stigma Index. …

  4. Sexual and reproductive health rights and information and communications technologies: A policy review and case study from South Africa

    This report examines the linkages between policies on, and implementation of, sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) and ICT in rural and peri-urban spaces in South Africa. South Africa is renowned for its legal provisions addressing SRHR yet also experiences barriers to adolescent sexual health. SRHR programming is politically complex and often ambivalent; as a result less contentious aspects which emphasise maternal health get prioritised. …

  5. Emma says: A case study of the use of comics for health education among women in the AIDS heartland

    The purpose of this paper is to examine one mass media AIDS education project, the Emma Says comic series. Created by an international health research organization based in the USA, the series was designed to educate women in rural Africa about the need to protect themselves from AIDS. The Emma Says series aimed to deliver powerful messages about AIDS in an easy-to-understand format using the caricature of an African woman working as a health educator in her community. …

  6. Deadly Delay: South Africa's Efforts to Prevent HIV in Survivors of Sexual Violence

    This 73-page report documents how government inaction and misinformation from high-level officials have undermined the effectiveness of South Africa’s program to provide rape survivors with post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) — antiretroviral drugs that can reduce the risk of contracting HIV from an HIV-positive attacker.

  7. Silenced and forgotten: HIV and AIDS agenda setting paper for women living with HIV, sex workers and LGBT individuals in southern African and Indian Ocean states

    The impact of the HIV and AIDS epidemic is felt hardest by the individuals who are infected or affected by the disease, and in particular by individuals who are especially vulnerable to HIV infection due to stigma and discrimination, poverty, a lack of access to education, health and other services that promote HIV awareness. However, the impact of HIV and AIDS goes beyond the individual or household level – it affects nations as a whole. …

  8. 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. …

  9. The effect of educational attainment and other factors on HIV risk in South African women: results from antenatal surveillance, 2000-2005

    Objectives: To assess the effect of educational attainment and other factors on the risk of HIV in pregnant South African women. Design: Repeated cross-sectional surveys. Methods: Pregnant women attending public antenatal clinics were tested for HIV annually between 2000 and 2005, and provided demographic information. Logistic regression models were applied separately to the data collected in each year, to identify factors associated with HIV infection. Data from all years were combined in a logistic regression model that tested for trends in HIV prevalence. …

  10. Gender violence and HIV: Perceptions and experiences of violence and other rights abuses against women living with HIV in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal and Western Cape, South Africa

    The AIDS Legal Network (ALN), in collaboration with Her Rights Initiative (HRI), South Africa Positive Women Ambassadors (SAPWA), South Africa Partners, and the Mitchell’s Plain Network Opposing Abuse, engaged in a study to assess perceptions and experiences of violence and other rights abuses against women living with HIV. …

  11. Are women at the centre? A critical review of the new NSP response to women's sexual and reproductive rights

    One of the recognised challenges of the national AIDS response has been the lack of adequate programmes and interventions aimed at protecting and advancing women’s sexual and reproductive rights and health needs in the context of HIV. The new National Strategic Plan on HIV, STIs and TB, 2012 – 2016 (NSP) was launched on 01 December 2011, making it thus crucial to review the new policy document designed to strategically guide the national response to HIV for the next five years. …

  12. Access to safe abortion: building choices for women living with HIV and AIDS

    In many areas of the world where HIV prevalence is high, rates of unintended pregnancy and unsafe abortion have also been shown to be high. Of all pregnancies worldwide in 2008, 41% were reported as unintended or unplanned, and approximately 50% of these ended in abortion. …

  13. 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. …

  14. Transactional sexual relationships, sexually transmitted infection risk, and condom use among young Black Women in peri-urban areas of the Western Cape Province of South Africa

    This study evaluated the relationship between having a history of transactional sexual relationships with condom use and STI risk. Participants completed a behavioral questionnaire and provided self-collected vaginal swabs which were tested for chlamydia trachomatis, neisseria gonorrhea, and trichomonas vaginalis. Multinomial logistic regression was used to compare condom use rates and STI risk among women with a history of transactional sexual relationships to women with a history of casual sexual relationships and those with no history of casual sexual relationships. …

  15. 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. …

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