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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. 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. …

  2. 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. …

  3. 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. …

  4. 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. …

  5. 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. …

  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. 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. …

  8. 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. …

  9. Gender and sexuality: emerging perspectives from the heterosexual epidemic in South Africa and implications for HIV risk and prevention

    Research shows that gender power inequity in relationships and intimate partner violence places women at enhanced risk of HIV infection. Men who have been violent towards their partners are more likely to have HIV. Men's behaviours show a clustering of violent and risky sexual practices, suggesting important connections. This paper draws on Raewyn Connell's notion of hegemonic masculinity and reflections on emphasized femininities to argue that these sexual, and male violent, practices are rooted in and flow from cultural ideals of gender identities. …

  10. The Social Conditions for Successful Peer Education: A Comparison of Two HIV Prevention Programs Run by Sex Workers in India and South Africa

    Peer education is increasingly being used to combat the spread of HIV and AIDS. However, results are inconsistent. This study systematically compares the context and implementation of two peer educational approaches among sex workers in India and South Africa, which had contrasting outcomes, to identify factors leading to success or failure. The Indian intervention's success was enabled by: a stable, supportive social, material and political context; and an ethos of community development which committed resources to sex worker empowerment, ownership and involvement. …

  11. Keep them in school: the importance of education as a protective factor against HIV infection among young South African women

    This study aimed to identify risk factors for HIV infection among women aged 15-24 years who reported having one lifetime sexual partner in South Africa. A 2003 household survey of 11,904 15-24 year old women on sexual behavior and HIV testing was used. The analysis focuses on a sample of 1,708 women reporting one lifetime partner. Results show that 15% of the women reporting one lifetime partner were HIV positive. In multivariable analysis, completion of high school was associated withábeing HIV-negative (AOR 3.75; 95% CI 1.34-10.46). …

  12. Intimate partner violence, relationship power inequity, and incidence of HIV infection in young women in South Africa: a cohort study

    Cross-sectional studies have shown that intimate partner violence and gender inequity in relationships are associated with increased prevalence of HIV in women. Yet temporal sequence and causality have been questioned, and few HIV prevention programmes address these issues. The article assessed whether intimate partner violence and relationship power inequity increase risk of incident HIV infection in South African women. …

  13. 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. …

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