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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Proposing a conceptual framework to address social norms that influence adolescent sexual and reproductive health

    With 1.8 billion young people aged 10-24 years in the world today, the cohort of adolescents and youth is the largest in history. Concurrently, millions of adolescents are confronting sexual and reproductive health (SRH) challenges, including high rates of unmet need for contraception, unintended pregnancy, and clandestine and unsafe abortion. Social norms or shared understandings of how oneself and others should behave can alleviate or exacerbate these challenges. …

  2. Creating an enabling environment for adolescent sexual and reproductive health: a framework and promising approaches

    This article provides a conceptual framework and points out the key elements for creating enabling environments for adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH). An ecological framework is applied to organize the key elements of enabling environments for ASRH. At the individual level, strategies that are being implemented and seem promising are those that empower girls, build their individual assets, and create safe spaces. …

  3. Ensuring youth’s right to participation and promotion of youth leadership in the development of sexual and reproductive health policies and programs

    The purpose of this article was to reflect on the concepts of adolescence and youth, summarize models and frameworks developed to conceptualize youth participation, and assess research that has attempted to evaluate the implementation and impact of youth participation in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).The authors searched and critically reviewed relevant published reports and “gray literature” from the period 2000–2013. …

  4. Youth participation in HIV and sexual and reproductive health decision-making, policies, programmes: perspectives from the field

    The purpose of this article was to present the current state of evidence and experience of youth participation approaches in HIV and sexual and reproductive health decision-making, policies and programmes. By combining a literature review of evaluation evidence with in-depth interviews and a global survey targeting young people with the experience of participation, this study opens a new window into the support needs for meaningful youth participation globally. …

  5. Searching for the second R in sexual and reproductive health and … rights

    Sexual and reproductive health and rights have gained prominence in the HIV response. The role of sexual and reproductive health in underpinning a successful approach to HIV prevention, treatment, care, and services has increasingly been recognized. However, the “second R,” referring to sexual and reproductive rights, is often neglected. This leads to policies and programs which both fail to uphold and fulfill these rights and which fail to meet the needs of those most affected by HIV by neglecting to take account of the human right-based barriers and challenges they face. …

  6. Sexual health promotion for young people delivered via digital media: a scoping review

    Background: Young people are at risk of poor sexual health and are, therefore, in need of comprehensive, effective sexual health education. Young people are confident and constant users of digital technology, such as the internet and mobile phones, and there are many innovative possibilities for sexual health education involving these technologies. …

  7. What does not work in adolescent sexual and reproductive health: a review of evidence on interventions commonly accepted as best practices

    Youth centers, peer education, and one-off public meetings have generally been ineffective in facilitating young people's access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, changing their behaviors, or influencing social norms around adolescent SRH. Approaches that have been found to be effective when well implemented, such as comprehensive sexuality education and youth-friendly services, have tended to flounder as they have considerable implementation requirements that are seldom met. …

  8. Adolescence: building solid foundations for lifelong flourishing

    Adolescence is a decisive age for girls and boys around the world. What they experience during their teenage years shapes the direction of their lives and that of their families. Investments in adolescents’ education and health are life-time investments that are likely to have positive effects on behaviours and lifestyles during their entire life course. For many young people the mere onset of puberty that occurs during adolescence marks a time of heightened vulnerability. …

  9. Invited commentary: Broadening the evidence for adolescent sexual and reproductive health and education in the United States

    Scientific research has made major contributions to adolescent health by providing insights into factors that influence it and by defining ways to improve it. However, US adolescent sexual and reproductive health policies-particularly sexuality health education policies and programs-have not benefited from the full scope of scientific understanding. From 1998 to 2009, federal funding for sexuality education focused almost exclusively on ineffective and scientifically inaccurate abstinence-only-until-marriage (AOUM) programs. …

  10. 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. …

  11. Twenty years after International Conference on Population and Development: Where are we with adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights?

    The International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994 laid out a bold, clear, and comprehensive definition of reproductive health and called for nations to meet the educational and service needs of adolescents to enable them to deal in a positive and responsible way with their sexuality. …

  12. Rwandan young people's perceptions on sexuality and relationships: Results from a qualitative study using the ‘mailbox technique’

    This study aimed to gain more insight into young Rwandans' perceptions on sex and relationships, which is essential for formulating effective sexual and reproductive health (SRH) promotion interventions. Using a 'mailbox technique', this paper studies the spontaneous thoughts of Rwandan young people on sexuality. Mailboxes were installed in five secondary schools in the Bugesera district and students were invited to write about their ideas, secrets, wishes, desires and fears on sexuality and relationships. Of the 186 letters collected, 154 addressed SRH topics. …

  13. Prevalence of pattern of risky behaviors for reproductive and sexual health among middle- and high-school students

    This research aimed to establish the prevalence and factors associated with the pattern of risky behavior for reproductive and sexual health (PRBRSH) among secondary education students in Santa Marta, Colombia. A cross-sectional study was done. The PRBRSH was defined as having had two or more out of four possible risky sexual practices across the lifetime. Logistic regression was calculated to control for confounding variables. In total, 804 students reported lifetime sexual intercourse. PRBRSH was reported by 36.1% of the sample. …

  14. Investing in very young adolescents' sexual and reproductive health

    Very young adolescents (VYAs) between the ages of 10 and 14 represent about half of the 1.2 billion adolescents aged 10–19 in the world today. In lower- and middleincome countries, where most unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, maternal deaths and sexually transmitted infections occur, investment in positive youth development to promote sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is increasing. Most interventions, though, focus on older adolescents, overlooking VYAs. …

  15. An innovative approach to using both cellphones and the radio to identify young people’s sexual concerns in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

    Background: As teenagers have easy access to both radio programs and cell phones, the current study used these tools so that young people could anonymously identify questions about sex and other related concerns in the urban environment of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The purpose of this healthcare intervention was to identify and address concerns raised by young people, which are related to sexual health, and which promote youth health. Methods: This healthcare intervention was conducted over a six month period and consisted of a survey carried out in Kinshasa. …

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