Lessons learned: an update on the published literature concerning the impact of HIV and sexuality education for young people

Lessons learned: an update on the published literature concerning the impact of HIV and sexuality... Questions have been raised about the ability of HIV/AIDS and sexuality education for young people to modify behaviour, its potential for producing undesirable effects, and dubious rigour in evaluating it. A review of the literature conducted for the World Health Organisation’s former Global Programme on AIDS in 1993, and a more recent update commissioned by the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in 1997 examined these issues. The latter review of 68 articles found good support for the efficacy of HIV/AIDS and sex education in reducing unwanted outcomes of young people’s sexual behaviour. Of 53 articles describing specific interventions, 22 reported significant decreases in coital activity or its markers (e.g. pregnancy) in those who received the intervention(s) compared with controls, and 27 studies reported no effect. Although three studies found a positive relationship between receiving sex education and increased sexual activity, they should be viewed in the context of overwhelming evidence in the opposite direction, and methodological limitations to the extent to which they can be generalised. Lack of rigour and an adequate description of interventions is, however, a feature of many of the studies evaluating the effects of HIV/AIDS and sex education. Although the reviews demonstrate the value of appropriately conducted and targeted interventions, formal sex/HIV education is only one source of information about sexual issues for young people. Further, timing education prior to the onset of sexual intercourse may increase the chance that young people will adopt measures aimed at protecting their health. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Health Education Emerald Publishing

Lessons learned: an update on the published literature concerning the impact of HIV and sexuality education for young people

Health Education, Volume 98 (2): 10 – Apr 1, 1998

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0965-4283
DOI
10.1108/09654289810199801
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Questions have been raised about the ability of HIV/AIDS and sexuality education for young people to modify behaviour, its potential for producing undesirable effects, and dubious rigour in evaluating it. A review of the literature conducted for the World Health Organisation’s former Global Programme on AIDS in 1993, and a more recent update commissioned by the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in 1997 examined these issues. The latter review of 68 articles found good support for the efficacy of HIV/AIDS and sex education in reducing unwanted outcomes of young people’s sexual behaviour. Of 53 articles describing specific interventions, 22 reported significant decreases in coital activity or its markers (e.g. pregnancy) in those who received the intervention(s) compared with controls, and 27 studies reported no effect. Although three studies found a positive relationship between receiving sex education and increased sexual activity, they should be viewed in the context of overwhelming evidence in the opposite direction, and methodological limitations to the extent to which they can be generalised. Lack of rigour and an adequate description of interventions is, however, a feature of many of the studies evaluating the effects of HIV/AIDS and sex education. Although the reviews demonstrate the value of appropriately conducted and targeted interventions, formal sex/HIV education is only one source of information about sexual issues for young people. Further, timing education prior to the onset of sexual intercourse may increase the chance that young people will adopt measures aimed at protecting their health.

Journal

Health EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 1, 1998

Keywords: AIDS; Evaluation; Individual behaviour; Sex education

References

  • Sex education and sexual experience among adolescents
    Furstenberg, F.F.; Moore, K.A.; Peterson, J.L.
  • Reductions in HIV risk‐associated sexual behaviors among black male adolescents: effect of an AIDS prevention intervention
    Jemmott, J.B.; Jemmott, L.S.; Fong, G.T.
  • Does the promotion and distribution of condoms increase teen sexual activity? Evidence from an HIV prevention program for Latino youth
    Sellers, D.; McGraw, S.; McKinlay, J.
  • Design issues addressed in published evaluations of adolescent HIV‐risk reduction interventions: a review
    Stanton, B.; Kim, N.; Galbraith, J.; Parrott, M.

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