Addressing young people’s lives in a broader context may ultimately have a stronger impact on reproductive health behavior than a narrow focus on sexuality.
Programs addressing adolescent reproductive health and HIV prevention tend to focus on unmarried youth, but the majority of unprotected sexual activity among adolescent girls in most developing countries occurs within marriage. In some settings, young married girls (ages 15 to 19) have been shown to have higher rates of HIV infection than sexually active unmarried youth of the same ages.
Girls Not Brides
Girls Not Brides is a global partnership of more than 350 civil society organizations from over 60 countries working to address child marriage. Members are based throughout Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas and are united by a commitment to end child marriage and enable girls to fulfil their potential.
Marrying Too Young: End Child Marriage
International conventions declare that child marriage is a violation of human rights because it denies girls the right to decide when and with whom to marry. This report is intended to help policymakers prevent this violation of girls’ rights. It summarizes available data and evidence, while offering advice on the many issues involved, and suggests prioritized actions to reduce, and eventually eliminate, child marriage.
Long-Acting and Reversible Contraceptives
Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC)—intrauterine devices and contraceptive implants—are safe and appropriate contraceptive methods for most women and adolescents. Expanding access to LARC for young people will drastically reduce the rate of unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and maternal and infant morbidity and mortality across the globe.
Peer education is a popular approach for promoting HIV prevention and reproductive health among young people. However, the quality of peer education varies. Difficulty in recruiting and retaining peer educators, lack of community support, and poor training and supervision of peer educators can adversely affect a program’s impact. Effective peer education programs require intensive planning, coordination, supervision, and resources.
Evidence-Based Guidelines for Youth Peer Education
This guide helps readers to develop new, high-quality peer education programs for young people ages 10-24 years and to improve existing programs. Although the focus is on peers working with young people to improve their sexual and reproductive health, these guidelines can be applied more broadly to other types of peer education programs as well. This second edition of the publication provides updated technical content and incorporates information about addressing gender inequality in peer education programs.
Young people, especially those who are sexually active, need a variety of services, including contraception, HIV counseling and testing, testing and treatment for other sexually transmitted infections, pre- and postnatal care, and postabortion care. Health facilities serving youth often offer one primary service. As a result, young people’s full range of sexual health needs are not addressed. Research shows that there is a strong need for various services in a single setting.
Linking Sexual and Reproductive Health and Gender Programs and Services with Prevention of HIV/STIs
This proposal seeks to make a significant contribution to the efforts already underway in several locations to optimize health care, including sexual and reproductive health promotion and care with a gender perspective that explicitly approaches HIV and other STIs as problems requiring immediate attention. The proposal not only stresses the importance of collaboration among programs, services, providers, and community members to better tackle the challenges posed by these issues, but also proposes actions that can lead to a better quality of life for the individual, the family, and the community.
Pregnancy Prevention and Family Planning for Adolescents Living with HIV
According to several studies, unintended pregnancies occur at a very high rate for adolescents living with HIV. Most contraceptive methods can be used by women who are living with HIV, but condoms are recommended to prevent the spread of HIV or reinfection. People who are living with HIV also have the right to have children when they are ready, but it’s very important that they to talk to a doctor about the safest way to conceive. Taking ARVs as prescribed can lower a woman’s chances of passing HIV to her unborn child.
Resources for Adolescents Living with HIV
This brief provides a list of resources to support communities and health care providers in meeting the unique physical, social, and psychosocial needs – including sexual and reproductive health – of adolescent HIV.
Young women are generally more vulnerable than adults to unintended pregnancy, unsafe abortion, and abortion-related complications. Girls and young women also are more likely to face barriers to receiving vital postabortion care (PAC). PAC for all women should include emergency treatment for potentially critical complications of abortion; family planning counseling and services; evaluation and treatment for sexually transmitted infections; and HIV counseling and testing, or appropriate referrals.
Meeting the needs of adolescent post-abortion care patients in the Dominican Republic
March 2010 | Journal Article
This journal article aimed to evaluate an intervention whose goal was to improve the counseling and contraceptive uptake of PAC patients, with special attention given to the needs of adolescent patients, in the four public hospitals in the Dominican Republic where PAC services were not being routinely offered. Note: A subscription is required to view the full text.
Mobile Phones and Other Technology
Global mobile phone use is rapidly increasing and a large percentage of mobile phone users are young people. Many programs are capitalizing on their ubiquity as a way to reach young people with important health information, and research is beginning to demonstrate that mobile phones are a feasible means of mass communication for this population.
Very Young Adolescents
Studies show that most very young adolescents (ages 10-14) lack the knowledge and skills to reduce associated risks of puberty, including unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Very young adolescents (VYAs) face additional unique challenges such as early marriage, the increased danger of pregnancy, and high vulnerability to sexual violence and coercion.
Investing in very young adolescents' sexual and reproductive health
March 2014 | Journal Article
Since early adolescence marks a critical transition between childhood and older adolescence and adulthood, setting the stage for future SRH and gendered attitudes and behaviors, targeted investment in VYAs is imperative to lay foundations for healthy future relationships and positive SRH. This article advocates for such investments and identifies roles that policy-makers, donors, program designers and researchers and evaluators can play.
Whose turn to do the dishes? Transforming gender attitudes and behaviours among very young adolescents in Nepal
March 2013 | Journal Article
This article focuses on Choices, Save the Children’s curriculum designed to help VYAs explore alternate views of masculinities and femininities, and its impact in Siraha district, Nepal. Research revealed changes in children's gendered attitudes and behavior relating to discrimination, social image, control and dominance, violence, attitudes to girls' education, and acceptance of traditional gender norms, before and after participating in Choices.