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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. The HIV and sexual reproductive health status of young people in Swaziland: the rationale for focused youth investment

    Methods: The HIV and Sexual Reproductive Health Status of Young People in Swaziland analysis were prepared in stages: desk review and analysis, consultations/interview meetings with key stakeholders, data analysis and compilation of the report.Results and discussion: Early sexual debut, high adolescent fertility rate, unmet need for family planning, and on-going problems with sexual and gender based violence (GBV) are some of the key issues faced by young people in terms of reproductive health in Swaziland.

  2. Parents’ and teachers’ views on sexual health education and screening for sexually transmitted infections among in-school adolescent girls in Kenya: a qualitative study

    Background: To successfully develop and implement school-based sexual health interventions for adolescent girls, such as screening for Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Trichomonas vaginalis, it is important to understand parents’ and teachers’ attitudes towards sexual health education and acceptability of sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening interventions. Methods: In this qualitative study, we approached parents and teachers from three high schools to participate in in-depth interviews (IDIs) and focus-group discussions (FGDs). …

  3. Learners’ perspectives on the provision of condoms in South African public schools

    A stubborn health challenge for learners in South African public schools concerns sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). In 2015, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) proposed the provision of condoms and SRHR-services to learners in schools. This study aimed to contribute to the finalisation and implementation of DBE’s policy by exploring learners’ perspectives on the provision of condoms and SRHR-services in schools. …

  4. How reliable are reports of early adolescent reproductive and sexual health events in demographic and health surveys?

    CONTEXT: Age at sexual debut, age at first marriage or first union and age at first birth are among the most widely used indicators of health and well-being for female adolescents. However, the accuracy of estimates for these indicators, particularly for younger adolescents, is poorly understood. METHODS: For each of nine countries in Africa and Latin America, Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data from two surveys conducted five years apart were used to examine women’s reports of age at sexual debut, marriage or first union, and first birth. …

  5. Sexual and reproductive health and rights for the next decades: What's been achieved? What lies ahead?

    This Global Public Health Special Issue ‘SRHR for the next decades: What's been achieved? What lies ahead?’ assesses progress 20 years after the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), which established the sexual and reproductive health and rights framework for population and health policy (United Nations [UN], 1995). …

  6. The shrinking world of girls at puberty: violence and gender-divergent access to the public sphere among adolescents in South Africa

    Participatory mapping was undertaken with single-sex groups of grade 5 and grade 8–9 children in KwaZulu-Natal. Relative to grade 5 students, wide gender divergence in access to the public sphere was found at grade 8–9. With puberty, girls' worlds shrink, while boys' expand. At grade 5, female-defined community areas were equal or larger in size than those of males. Community area mapped by urban grade 8–9 girls, however, was only one-third that of male classmates and two-fifths that of grade 5 girls. Conversely, community area mapped by grade 8–9 boys was twice that of grade 5 boys. …

  7. 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. …

  8. Risk for coerced sex among female youth in Ghana: Roles of family context, school enrollment and relationship experience

    CONTEXT: A better understanding is needed of the variables that may influence the risk of experiencing coerced sex among adolescent females in Sub-Saharan Africa. METHODS: Data were collected from 700 female respondents who were interviewed in 2010 and 2012 waves of a longitudinal study of behavioral risk for HIV infection among youth aged 13–14 or 18–19 and living in two towns in southeastern Ghana. …

  9. 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. …

  10. Promoting sexual and reproductive health among adolescents in southern and eastern Africa (PREPARE): project design and conceptual framework

    Background: Young people in sub-Saharan Africa are affected by the HIV pandemic to a greater extent than young people elsewhere and effective HIV-preventive intervention programmes are urgently needed. The present article presents the rationale behind an EU-funded research project (PREPARE) examining effects of community-based (school delivered) interventions conducted in four sites in sub-Saharan Africa. One intervention focuses on changing beliefs and cognitions related to sexual practices (Mankweng, Limpopo, South Africa). …

  11. Adolescent health, global guidelines versus local realities: the Sub-Saharan Africa experience

    As the field of adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) evolves, further discussion and documentation of national policy and aspects of its implementation is needed to ensure effectiveness of interventions. Further research is required to foster beneficial shifts in policy advocacy, including resource allocation, and in the prioritization of adolescent programs in health and education systems, in communities and in workplaces. Adolescents are exposed to diverse interventions across all the countries under discussion; however there exist obstacles to realization of ASRH goals. …

  12. Implementation of adolescent-friendly voluntary medical male circumcision using a school based recruitment program in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

    Background: Epidemiological data from South Africa demonstrate that risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in males increases dramatically after adolescence. Targeting adolescent HIV-negative males may be an efficient and cost-effective means of maximising the established HIV prevention benefits of voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) in high HIV prevalence–, low circumcision practice–settings. This study assessed the feasibility of recruiting male high school students for VMMC in such a setting in rural KwaZulu-Natal. …

  13. 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. …

  14. West African youth initiative: Outcome of a reproductive health education program

    Purpose: To describe the implementation and evaluation of an adolescent reproductive health peer education program in West Africa. The program, known as the West African Youth Initiative (WAYI), was developed to improve knowledge of sexuality and reproductive health, and promote safer sex behaviors and contraceptive use among sexually active adolescents in Nigeria and Ghana. …

  15. Impact of a School-based Peer Sexual Health Intervention on Normative Beliefs, Risk Perceptions, and Sexual Behavior of Zambian Adolescents

    To determine whether adolescents’ normative beliefs about abstinence and condoms, their personal risk perception, and safer sex practices changed after the implementation of a peer sexual health education intervention implemented in Zambian secondary schools.

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