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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. A review of generalist and specialist community health workers for delivering adolescent health services in sub-Saharan Africa

    The health of adolescents is increasingly seen as an important international priority because the world’s one point eight billion young people (aged 10 to 24 years) accounts for 15.5% of the global burden of disease and are disproportionately located in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Furthermore, an estimated 70% of premature adult deaths are attributable to unhealthy behaviors often initiated in adolescence (such as smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity). …

  2. Assessment of comprehensive HIV/AIDS knowledge level among in-school adolescents in eastern Ethiopia

    This study tries to assess the level of comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS and the factors associated with it among in-school adolescents in eastern Ethiopia. The reason for this study is that there are more adolescents in school today, in Ethiopia, than ever before. This is a cross-sectional school-based study in which respondents were students attending regular school in 14 high schools located in 14 different districts of eastern Ethiopia. The proportion of in-school adolescents with comprehensive HIV/AIDS knowledge was computed and compared by sex. …

  3. Who are we failing? How marginalisation and vulnerability affect adolescents' needs for and access to SRHR

    This report summarises a rapid review carried out by Interact Worldwide and funded by Countdown 2015 Europe. The review addresses the perception that, in the context of SRHR, all adolescents are equally ‘marginalised’ and ‘vulnerable’ due to their age. It explores how such a general assertion neglects the dramatically different situations and experiences of adolescents throughout the world: in reality, not all are equally ‘marginalised’ or ‘vulnerable’. The review asks Who are we failing and why? …

  4. The importance of addressing gender inequality in efforts to end vertical transmission of HIV

    The recently launched ‘‘Global Plan towards the Elimination of New HIV Infections among Children by 2015 and Keeping their Mothers Alive’’ sets forth ambitious targets that will require more widespread implementation of comprehensive prevention of vertical HIV transmission (PMTCT) programmes. As PMTCT policymakers and implementers work toward these new goals, increased attention must be paid to the role that gender inequality plays in limiting PMTCT programmatic progress. …

  5. They are destroying our futures: Sexual violence against girls in Zambia's schools

    This report examines the problem of sexual violence against girls in Zambian schools. In Zambia, many girls are raped, sexually abused, harassed, and assaulted by teachers and male classmates. They are also subjected to sexual harassment and attack while travelling to and from school. Such abuse is a devastating and often overlooked manifestation of the gender-based violence that occurs in numerous settings in Zambia and other countries throughout the world. …

  6. HIV prevalence among high school learners - opportunities for schools-based HIV testing programmes and sexual reproductive health services

    Young girls in sub Saharan Africa are reported to have higher rates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection compared to boys in the same age group. Knowledge of HIV status amongst high schools learners provides an important gateway to prevention and treatment services. This study aimed at determining the HIV prevalence and explored the feasibility of HIV testing among high school learners. Between September 2010 and February 2011, a linked, anonymous cross-sectional survey was conducted in two public sector high schools in the rural KwaZulu-Natal midlands. …

  7. Promoting Health-Seeking Behaviours and Quality of Care among Men who have Sex with Men and Transgender Women: Evidence from 5 Provinces in Thailand

    The study was commissioned by UNESCO Bangkok and aims to increase understanding about the health-seeking behavior of MSM/TG women in Thailand, including perceptions of illness, sources of information on sexual health, types of health services accessed, and constraints and obstacles in accessing healthcare; and to evaluate whether existing sexual health services meet the needs of MSM and TG women in the current Thai context, and develop recommendations for community groups/organizations, policy-makers (in light of Thailand’s revised National AIDS strategy), health service providers and developi …

  8. Women's empowerment and choice of contraceptive methods in selected African countries

    Few studies have examined the different dimensions of women's empowerment and contraceptive use in African countries. Data for this study came from the latest round of Demographic and Health Surveys conducted between 2006 and 2008 in Namibia, Zambia, Ghana and Uganda. Responses from married or cohabiting women ages 15–49 were analyzed for six dimensions of empowerment and the current use of female-only methods or couple methods. Bivariate and multivariate multinomial regressions were used to identify associations between the empowerment dimensions and method use. …

  9. Universal Access for Women and Girls: Accelerating Access to HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support for Female Sex Workers and Wives of Migrant Men

    As part of a global initiative to improve women’s access to HIV prevention and treatment services, ICRW implemented a research study to expand the evidence base on access to services for two key populations in India: female sex workers in Pune, Maharashtra and wives of migrant men in Ganjam, Orissa. The main objectives of the research study were to explore barriers to HIV services experienced by the study populations, and based on the findings, to identify entry points for improving HIV services among women in India more broadly.

  10. They arrested me for loving a schoolgirl: ethnography, HIV, and a feminist assessment of the age of consent law as a gender-based structural intervention in Uganda

    In 1990 women's rights activists in Uganda successfully lobbied to amend the Defilement Law, raising the age of sexual consent for adolescent females from fourteen to eighteen years old and increasing the maximum sentence to death by hanging. The amendment can be considered a macro-level intervention designed to address the social and health inequalities affecting young women and girls, particularly their disproportionately high rate of HIV as compared to their male counterparts. …

  11. Sexuality and the limits of agency among South African teenage women: theorising femininities and their connections to HIV risk practices

    In South Africa, both HIV and gender-based violence are highly prevalent. Gender inequalities give men considerable relational power over young women, particularly in circumstances of poverty and where sex is materially rewarded. Young women are often described as victims of men, but this inadequately explains women's observed sexual agency. This paper takes a different approach. The authors use qualitative interviews and ethnographic observation among 16 young women from the rural Eastern Cape to explore ways young women construct their femininities and exercise agency. …

  12. Jamaican Mothers' Influences of Adolescent Girls' Sexual Beliefs and Behaviors

    The purpose of this study was to identify the ways in which urban Jamaican mothers influence their adolescent daughters' sexual beliefs and behaviors in order to incorporate them into the design of a family-based, HIV risk-reduction intervention program. Focus groups were conducted with forty-six 14- to 18-year-old adolescent girls and 30 mothers or female guardians of adolescent girls recruited from community-based organizations in and around Kingston and St. Andrew, Jamaica. Separate focus groups were held with mothers and daughters; each included 6 to 10 participants. …

  13. 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. …

  14. 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. …

  15. Minding the gap in Alexandria: Talking to girls in schools about reproductive health

    Reproductive health (RH) is one of the cornerstones of an individual’s health and well-being, and an important component of a country’s human social development. Limited access to RH information among female adolescents can increase their vulnerability to health problems. Therefore, it is important to provide them with accurate and age-appropriate information. In the Middle East and North Africa, cultural norms dictate that girls should not be exposed to information about RH until they are married. …

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