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UNESCO HIV and Health Education Clearinghouse

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  1. Essential conditions for the implementation of comprehensive school health to achieve changes in school culture and improvements in health behaviours of students

    Background: Comprehensive School Health (CSH) is an internationally recognized framework that holistically addresses school health by transforming the school culture. It has been shown to be effective in enhancing health behaviours among students while also improving educational outcomes. Despite this effectiveness, there is a need to focus on how CSH is implemented. …

  2. ‘… a huge monster that should be feared and not done’: Lessons learned in sexuality education classes in South Africa

    Research has foregrounded the way in which heterosexual practices for many young people are not infrequently bound up with violence and unequal transactional power relations. The Life Orientation sexuality education curriculum in South African schools has been viewed as a potentially valuable space to work with young people on issues of reproductive health, gender and sexual norms and relations. …

  3. A view from England and Wales

    This commentary outlines developments regarding Sex and Relationships Education (SRE, akin to Comprehensive Sex Education) in England and Wales over the past 15 years or so.

  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. Accessing the ‘right’ kinds of material and symbolic capital: the role of cash transfers in reducing adolescent school absence and risky behaviour in South Africa

    This article investigates how well South Africa’s Child Support Grant (CSG) responds to the material and psychosocial needs of adolescents, and the resultant effects on schooling and risky behaviour. One driver of schooling decisions is shame related to poverty and the ‘social cost’ of school, where a premium must often be paid for fashionable clothes or accessories. The other driver relates to symbolic and consumptive capital gained through engaging in sexual exchange relationships. The anticipated impacts from the CSG are partial because of these non-material drivers of adolescent choices. …

  6. Menstrual hygiene management among adolescent schoolgirls in low- and middle-income countries: research priorities

    A lack of adequate guidance on menstrual management; water, disposal, and private changing facilities; and sanitary hygiene materials in low- and middle-income countries leaves schoolgirls with limited options for healthy personal hygiene during monthly menses. …

  7. The role of partners’ educational attainment in the association between HIV and education amongst women in seven sub-Saharan African countries

    Introduction: Individuals’ educational attainment has long been considered as a risk factor for HIV. However, little attention has been paid to the association between partner educational attainment and HIV infection. Methods: We conducted cross-sectional analysis of young women (aged 1534) in 14 Demographic and Health Surveys from seven sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries with generalized HIV epidemics. …

  8. Structural drivers and social protection: mechanisms of HIV risk and HIV prevention for South African adolescents

    Social protection is high on the HIV-prevention agenda for youth in sub-Saharan Africa. However, questions remain: How do unconditional cash transfers work? What is the effect of augmenting cash provision with social care? And can “cash plus care” social protection reduce risks for adolescents most vulnerable to infection? This study tackles these questions by first identifying mediated pathways to adolescent HIV risks and then examining potential main and moderating effects of social protection in South Africa.

  9. Costs, and cost-outcome of school feeding programmes and feeding programmes for young children. Evidence and recommendations

    Our objectives for this study were to provide updated, realistic data on the costs and cost-outcomes of school feeding in Low and Middle Income Countries. We also aimed to identify factors that may influence effectiveness and therefore, cost effectiveness of the interventions. To do this, we combined data on effect sizes for physical and psychosocial outcomes from two Cochrane systematic reviews with new data on the costs of school feeding. We simulated the costs of preschool feeding based on the school feeding costs. …

  10. School experiences of HIV-positive secondary school learners on ARV treatment in Namibia

    Although the provision of life-saving antiretroviral (ARV) treatment is central to the medical and policy response to the HIV pandemic, relatively little research in the SADC region and in Namibia particularly, attends to HIV-positive people's experiences and the social effects of taking ARV treatment, with children being least focused on. The study from which the paper is drawn contributes to this dearth by examining the experiences of HIV-positive high school learners on ARV treatment in Khomas Region, Namibia. …

  11. Engaging school personnel in making schools safe for girls in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique

    Girls are vulnerable to HIV in part because the social systems in which they live have failed to protect them. This study evaluates a program aimed at making schools safe for girl learners in order to reduce girls’ vulnerability to HIV in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique. In addition to an extensive process evaluation with school personnel program participants, program facilitators, and community members, a cross-sectional post-intervention survey was conducted among adolescent girls in the three countries. The total sample size was 1249 adolescent girls (ages 11–18). …

  12. When caring is not enough: The limits of teachers’ support for South African primary school-girls in the context of sexual violence

    Between 2011 and 2012, 40.1% of all sexual offences in South Africa involved children under 18. Important scholarship has demonstrated how large-scale social and economic inequalities structure African girls’ risk to and experience of sexual violence leading to a condemnation of violent masculinities and the social processes that produce it. Under conditions of chronic poverty and unstable living conditions, girls’ vulnerability to sexual violence is increased. …

  13. Life orientation sexuality education in South Africa: Gendered norms, justice and transformation

    Research on sexual practices among young South Africans has proliferated in light of the national imperatives to challenge the spread of HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence and unwanted early pregnancies. It has been widely acknowledged that, in order to respond to these social problems, we need to understand the enmeshment of gender, class, age and other forms of social inequality, and how these are played out in ‘normal’ heterosexual relationships.

  14. State variation in HIV/AIDS health outcomes: the effect of spending on social services and public health

    Objective: Despite considerable advances in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, the burden of new infections of HIV and AIDS varies substantially across the country. Previous studies have demonstrated associations between increased healthcare spending and better HIV/AIDS outcomes; however, less is known about the association between spending on social services and public health spending and HIV/AIDS outcomes. …

  15. Lessons learned from a decade implementing comprehensive sexuality education in resource poor settings: The World Starts With Me

    Today, more than half of the world population is under the age of 25 years and one in four is under age 18. The urgency of expanding access to Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) notably for children and young people in Africa and Asia is greater than ever before. However, many challenges to the implementation and delivery of CSE in resource poor settings have been identified in the literature. CSE’s effectiveness could be strongly improved if these challenges were better met. …

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