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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. 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. …

  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. 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. …

  5. 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. …

  6. 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 …

  7. 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. …

  8. 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.

  9. 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. …

  10. 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. …

  11. Programs to address child marriage: Framing the problem

    Child marriage violates girls’ human rights and adversely affects their health and well-being. While age at marriage is increasing in most regions of the developing world, early marriage persists for large populations. Worldwide, it is estimated that more than one out of three women aged 20–24 were married before age 18, and one out of seven were married before age 15. There is great variation in child marriage practices across and within regions and between ethnic and religious groups. Eradicating child marriage has long been on the agenda of the United Nations and of individual countries. …

  12. Women who inject drugs: a review of their risks, experiences and needs

    This report summarises the existing peer reviewed and grey literature describing evidence on the nature and degree of risks and experiences of women who inject drugs and women whose partners inject. In collecting this literature, a range of search strategies were used in tandem with expert consultations across the key themes. This report explores how women enter into drug use, how they use drugs, the relationships that shape and drive their drug use and their experiences in accessing services and treatment.

  13. Assessing knowledge, attitude, and practice of emergency contraception: a cross-sectional study among Ethiopian undergraduate female students

    The importance of Emergency contraception (EC) is evident in preventing unintended pregnancies and its ill consequences like unintended child delivery or unsafe abortion, which are the most common causes of maternal mortality. Knowing that Ethiopia is one of the countries with highest maternal mortality rate, this study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of EC, and to further elucidate the relationship between these factors and some socioeconomic and demographic characteristics among female undergraduate students of Addis Ababa University. …

  14. Decline in HIV Prevalence among Young Women in Zambia: National-Level Estimates of Trends Mask Geographical and Socio-Demographic Differences

    A decline in HIV incidence has been reported in Zambia and a number of other sub-Saharan countries. The trend of HIV prevalence among young people is a good marker of HIV incidence. In this study, different data sources are used to examine geographical and sub-population group differentials in HIV prevalence trends among men and women aged 15–24 years in Zambia.

  15. When Girls' Lives Matter: Ending Forced and Early Marriage in Cameroon

    The past decade has witnessed a dramatic increase in awareness about early and forced marriage of girls as a widespread violation of human rights. In short, early and forced marriage exacerbate gender inequality and the likelihood of poor outcomes throughout life. Combining public education about the negative effects of early and forced marriage with positive preventive strategies is valuable. The Association for the Struggle Against Violence Against Women (ALVF) in Cameroon is one such example. …

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