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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. A tale of two countries: rethinking sexual risk for HIV among young people in South Africa and the United States

    This paper compares the sexual behaviors of young people in South Africa (SA) and the United States (US) with the aim of better understanding the potential role of sexual behavior in HIV transmission in these two countries that have strikingly different HIV epidemics. Nationally representative, population-based surveys of young people ages 18-24 years from SA (n = 7,548) and the US (n = 13,451) were used. The prevalence of HIV was 10.2% in SA and 1% in the US. …

  2. 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. …

  3. Using research to influence sexual and reproductive health practice and implementation in Sub-Saharan Africa: a case-study analysis

    Research institutions and donor organizations are giving growing attention to how research evidence is communicated to influence policy. In the area of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and HIV there is less weight given to understanding how evidence is successfully translated into practice. Policy issues in SRH can be controversial, influenced by political factors and shaped by context such as religion, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. …

  4. HIV prevention for South African youth: which interventions work? A systematic review of current evidence

    South Africa's HIV prevalence among 15-24 year olds is one of the highest in the world. This systematic review looks at the evidence for youth HIV prevention in the country since 2000 and critically assesses interventions across four domains: study design and outcomes; intervention design; thematic focus and HIV causal pathways; and intervention delivery. Eight interventions were included in the review, all similar regarding content and objectives, but with variouis thematic foci, causal pathways, theoretical bases, delivery methods, intensity and duration. …

  5. 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. …

  6. Evaluation of an HIV/AIDS peer education programme in a South African workplace

    This paper describes an evaluation of a workplace HIV/AIDS peer-educational program. A cross-sectional study of 900 employees was conducted in 2001 across three areas in South Africa and measured the impact of a peer-education program on knowledge, attitudes towards people living with HIV/AIDS, perceptions of risk and condom use. Peer-education had no impact on any outcome. Some 59% of subjects had good knowledge, 62% positive attitude towards people living with HIV/AIDS, 34% reported frequently using condoms, 73% perceived themselves at low risk for infection. …

  7. 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). …

  8. They've Got All the Knowledge: HIV Education, Gender and Sexuality in South African Primary Schools

    Data from two primary schools in Durban, South Africa finds that discussions on gender and sexuality during life skills lessons are not sufficiently in-depth and comprehensive. Teachers find it difficult to provide comprehensive information on sex, sexuality and gender at the primary school level due to discourses on childhood innocence. The paper discusses implications for teacher training in the conclusion.

  9. Correlates of HIV knowledge and testing: Results of a 2003 South African Survey

    This research study investigated the correlation between HIV knowledge and testing. The researchers' hypothesis was that there would be significant relationships between knowledge of HIV transmission and getting tested for HIV, educational level, and gender, as well as testing and gender and knowing someone who has HIV or has died of AIDS. The study design used a convenience sample and was conducted in South Africa. 429 volunteers filled out the Carey and Shroeder Brief HIV Knowledge Questionnaire. Results indicate that as education level increased, knowledge of HIV did also. …

  10. Adolescent HIV: cause for concern in Southern Africa

    There is a substantial burden of HIV infection in adolescents in southern Africa who acquired HIV perinatally. It is evident that they contribute substantially to hospital admissions and in-hospital deaths. There is an urgent need for services that will be able to provide accessible and appropriate HIV testing, counseling, and support, as well as facilitate access to ART and appropriate sexual risk-reduction interventions. …

  11. Young people's understanding of HIV: a qualitative study among school students in Mankweng, South Africa

    This article describes young people's interpretation of HIV, AIDS and sexually transmitted illness in a rural South African community in Mankweng, Limpopo Province. Method: The study was based on 19 focus group discussions with adolescents aged 12-14 years. Results: Our participants had limited knowledge about HIV from a biomedical perspective. Their understanding and interpretations of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases were largely informed by traditional and religious belief systems that explain how and why people contract an illness via sexual intercourse. …

  12. HIV education in South African schools: the dilemma and conflicts of educators

    Educators within the school system are well placed to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge and skills in order for adolescents to be equipped for appropriate sexual decision-making. The aim of this research was to provide an understanding of educators' beliefs, attitudes and behaviours with regard to sexual and reproductive health promotion. Methods: Individual interviews were conducted with 15 educators from demographically diverse high schools in the Western Cape. One-off interviews were conducted with Grade 8 Life Orientation educators and principals. …

  13. Development and test-retest reliability of a research instrument designed to evaluate school-based HIV/AIDS interventions in South Africa and Tanzania

    Aims: This article reports on the development and psychometric properties of an instrument to evaluate school-based HIV/ AIDS interventions aimed at adolescents in three African sites. Methods: The instrument was developed in a series of steps that involved a review of existing instruments; use of empirical data and secondary literature supporting an association between the variables of interest and sexual intercourse or condom use; operationalizing the constructs of the theoretical model employed; and using the objectives of the intervention. …

  14. Correlates of intention to use condoms among Sub-Saharan African youth: the applicability of the theory of planned behaviour

    Aims: To test the applicability of an extended version of the theory of planned behaviour for the study of condom use intentions among large samples of young people in South Africa and Tanzania. Methods: Baseline data of a randomized controlled trial of school-based HIV/AIDS prevention programmes were used. The setting comprised secondary schools in the regions of Cape Town, Polokwane and Dar es Salaam. Participants were 15,782 secondary school students. …

  15. Dating violence among school students in Tanzania and South Africa: prevalence and socio-demographic variations

    Aims: To identify with whom in-school adolescents preferred to communicate about sexuality, and to study adolescents' communication on HIV/AIDS, abstinence and condoms with parents/guardians, other adult family members, and teachers. Data were obtained from a baseline questionnaire survey carried out in South Africa (Cape Town and Mankweng) and Tanzania (Dar es Salaam) in early 2004. We analysed data for 14,944 adolescents from 80 randomly selected schools. …

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