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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Rethinking sexual agency: proposing a multicomponent model based on young people’s life stories

    Sexual health policies explicitly aim to encourage young people to take responsibility for their sexuality to prevent adverse outcomes such as unintended pregnancies, STIs and sexual assault. In Europe and North America, ‘choice’ has become a central concept in sexual and reproductive health policy making. However, the concept of choice is not unproblematic, not least because the cultural emphasis on individual responsibility obscures structural limitations and inequalities, and mutual responsibility between partners. …

  2. Women and HIV in the twenty-first century: how can we reach the UN 2030 goal?

    Women have always been part of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. As with other populations affected by HIV, for many years the only prevention strategy available was behavior change. Behavioral interventions for women were developed and evaluated, with some success. Because women did not control the use of male condoms, efficacious interventions needed to build skills for partner negotiation. …

  3. The effects of school-based condom availability programs (CAPs) on condom acquisition, use and sexual behavior: a systematic review

    We conducted a systematic review to assess the impact of school-based condom availability programs (CAPs) on condom acquisition, use and sexual behavior. We searched PubMed to identify English-language studies evaluating school-based CAPs that reported process (i.e. number of condoms distributed or used) and sexual behavior measures. We identified nine studies that met our inclusion criteria, with the majority conducted in the United States of America. We judged most studies to have medium risk of bias. …

  4. Interventions for preventing unintended, rapid repeat pregnancy among adolescents: A review of the evidence and lessons from high-quality evaluations

    In 2017, of the 22.5 million parenting adolescents (ages 15–19) in 60 countries, approximately 4.1 million gave birth to a second or higher-order child. Adolescent pregnancy in general, and rapid repeat pregnancies specifically, expose young mothers and their children to multiple health and socioeconomic risks. The purpose of this article is to review the impact of interventions designed to prevent unintended, rapid repeat pregnancies among adolescents, including those aimed at changing norms to postpone "intended" closely spaced pregnancies to promote healthy spacing.

  5. Systematic review of the role of external contributors in school substance use education

    Purpose: A literature review was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of external contributors (anyone other than a teacher at the school) in delivering school‐based drug, alcohol and tobacco education (substance use education) programmes. Design/methodology/approach: The review focused upon literature published from 1990 onwards in English. Published reports were identified via electronic searches, supplemented by hand searching of relevant journals. Relevant organisations and individuals were contacted to identify low circulation, difficult to acquire (grey) literature. …

  6. Interventions for adolescent substance abuse: an overview of systematic reviews

    Many unhealthy behaviors often begin during adolescence and represent major public health challenges. Substance abuse has a major impact on individuals, families, and communities, as its effects are cumulative, contributing to costly social, physical, and mental health problems. The authors conducted an overview of systematic reviews to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions to prevent substance abuse among adolescents. They report findings from a total of 46 systematic reviews focusing on interventions for smoking/tobacco use, alcohol use, drug use, and combined substance abuse. …

  7. Attention to menstrual hygiene management in schools: An analysis of education policy documents in low- and middle-income countries

    Recent decades have seen a push for gender parity in education in low resource countries. Attention is shifting to how school environments hinder the achievement of gender equality. One effort, primarily led by the water, sanitation and hygiene sector, includes a focus on the needs of menstruating girls.

  8. School-based sexual health education interventions to prevent STI/HIV in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    The authors reviewed evaluations of school-based sexual health education interventions in sub-Saharan Africa to assess effectiveness in reducing sexually transmitted infections and promoting condom use.

  9. Systematic review and meta-analysis: prevalence of alcohol use among young people in eastern Africa

    The study’s objective is the systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies of alcohol use among young people (age 15–24 years) in eastern Africa to estimate prevalence of alcohol use and determine the extent of use of standardised screening questionnaires in alcohol studies. Based on the review results, the authors draw the conclusion that alcohol use and problem drinking were common among diverse groups of young people in eastern Africa, indicating the urgent need for alcohol-focused interventions in this population. …

  10. Do menstrual hygiene management interventions improve education and psychosocial outcomes for women and girls in low and middle income countries? A systematic review

    Background: Unhygienic and ineffective menstrual hygiene management has been documented across low resource contexts and linked to negative consequences for women and girls. Objectives: To summarise and critically appraise evidence for the effectiveness of menstruation management interventions in improving women and girls’ education, work and psychosocial wellbeing in low and middle income countries. [...] Conclusions: There is insufficient evidence to establish the effectiveness of menstruation management interventions, although current results are promising. …

  11. Interventions to prevent child marriage among young people in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review of the published and gray literature

    Child marriage, defined as marriage before the age of 18 years, is a human rights violation that can have lasting adverse educational and economic impacts. The objective of this review was to identify high-quality interventions and evaluations to decease child marriage in low- and middle-income countries. PubMed, Embase, PsycInfo, CINAHL Plus, Popline, and the Cochrane Databases were searched without language limitations for articles published through November 2015. Gray literature was searched by hand. Reference tracing was used, as well as the unpacking of systematic reviews. …

  12. Interventions to prevent unintended and repeat pregnancy among young people in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review of the published and gray literature

    Adolescent pregnancy, particularly unintended pregnancy, can have lasting social, economic, and health outcomes. The objective of this review is to identify high-quality interventions and evaluations to decrease unintended and repeat pregnancy among young people in low- and middle-income countries. PubMed, Embase, PsycInfo, Cinahl Plus, Popline, and the Cochrane Databases were searched for all languages for articles published through November 2015. Gray literature was searched by hand. Reference tracing was utilized, as well as unpacking systematic reviews. …

  13. Interventions to prevent sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, among young people in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review of the published and gray literature

    Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, are prevalent among adolescents and can have lasting adverse health consequences. The objective of this review is to identify high-quality interventions and evaluations to decrease STI transmission and related risky behaviors among young people in low- and middle-income countries. PubMed, Embase, PsycInfo, Cinahl Plus, Popline, and the Cochrane Databases were searched without language limitations for articles published through November 2015. Gray literature was searched by hand. …

  14. School-based interventions for preventing HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy in adolescents (Review)

    Background: School-based sexual and reproductive health programmes are widely accepted as an approach to reducing high-risk sexual behaviour among adolescents. Many studies and systematic reviews have concentrated on measuring effects on knowledge or self-reported behaviour rather than biological outcomes, such as pregnancy or prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Objectives: To evaluate the effects of school-based sexual and reproductive health programmes on sexually transmitted infections (such as HIV, herpes simplex virus, and syphilis), and pregnancy among adolescents.

  15. A review of HIV and AIDS curricular responses in the higher education sector: where are we now and what next?

    Curriculum integration of HIV and AIDS in higher education is a strategic priority of the Higher Education AIDS programme (HEAIDS), yet little progress has been made in this area. To address this, HEAIDS is leading a project aimed at capacitating the development of HIV curriculum initiatives. …

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