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Health Affairs. 2007 Mar-Apr; 26(2):345-354.A number of important health policy issues, such as the allocation of flu vaccines during a pandemic, require society to determine priorities across different age groups. Cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) and related methods of economic evaluation are often useful for determining optimal resource allocations. Using the examples of recently evaluated vaccine interventions, we show that current methods of CEA are likely to undervalue health interventions for young people, relative to societal preferences inferred from research on age preferences and the value of health over time. These findings demonstrate important considerations regarding how society distributes health resources across age groups. (author's)
Columbia Journalism Review. 2004 Mar-Apr; (2 Suppl):1-8.HIV/AIDS took the U.S. by surprise in the 1980s, and it continues to be a health epidemic with unique characteristics. As a news topic, HIV/AIDS has not only been a health story, but also one about arts, culture, taboo, sexuality, religion, celebrity, business, and politics on the local, national, and global stage. Media coverage of the HIV/AIDS epidemic has, at times, helped shape the policy agenda, while also reflecting current policy discussions, debates and important events. In many cases, the news media have served as an important source of information about the epidemic for the public. In an October 2003 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 72% of the U.S. public said that most of the information they get about HIV/AIDS comes from the media, including television, newspapers, and radio. (excerpt)
[Geneva, Switzerland], WHO, Global Programme on AIDS, Social and Behavioral Research Unit, .  p. (WHO File: Data on Social Issues; Report No. 2)The Social and Behavioural Research Unit has prepared its second international inventory of Knowledge, Attitude, Behaviour, and Practices surveys. The report reviews 80 projects drawing upon both published and unpublished materials dealing with 7 major study groups: adolescents and young people, the general public, health care workers, homosexual/bisexual men, drug injectors, prostitutes, and other groups. For each of these the inventory classifies the project concerned by selected key features such as when and where it was undertaken, sampling strategy used, and methodology and conclusions. (excerpt)
TRANSITIONS. 1999 Mar; 10(3):12-3.US adults are generally uncomfortable with the subject of adolescent sexuality. As such, they either pretend that teenagers do not have sex or try to control and limit the information which young people receive about sex and contraception. Sexual abstinence until marriage is the US Congressionally mandated message to students. In contrast, adults, and society in general, in the Netherlands, France, and Germany are comfortable with adolescent sexuality, and understand that teens have sex as a natural part of growing into sexually healthy adults. Perhaps paradoxically, adolescents in these 3 countries have first intercourse 1-2 years later than do US teens. The US also has a higher teen birth rate than the Netherlands, France, and Germany, as well as Morocco, Albania, Brazil, and more than 50 other developing countries. The teen birth rate in the Netherlands is almost 8 times lower than that of the US. Adolescent HIV and STD rates are also higher in the Netherlands, France, and Germany than in the US. At the heart of these 3 European countries' success in achieving low teen pregnancy and HIV/STD rates is a cultural openness and acceptance of adolescent sexuality which respects young people's rights and responsibilities as sexually maturing members of society. Rather than following the American model of trying to prevent young people from having sex, the Dutch, Germans, and French teach and empower their youths to behave responsibly when they decide to have sex. The US could learn from the Dutch, French, and German experiences with adolescent sexuality in developing and implementing a more balanced approach to adolescent sexuality.
PASSAGES. 1990 Summer; 10(2):1-3.Both others and young men themselves perceive boys and young men as being mischievous and interested only in sex from girls. These perceptions need to change in the interest of fostering male reproductive health. Several health service and education agencies have realized that a significant factor in the lack of male involvement in reproductive health decisions is that men have been excluded from the planning of relevant programs and services. Furthermore, there is only little information on the feelings and needs of young men. Programs which focus upon the many aspects of boys' lives will tend to be more successful than those which focus only upon their reproductive capacities. Programs which collaborate with families and other community resources help boys learn appropriate male roles and manly behavior, including the need to become fathers only at the proper, chosen point in their lives. New approaches to meeting young men's needs in New York, Africa, Mexico, and Costa Rica are described.
JOURNAL OF SCHOOL HEALTH. 1991 Aug; 61(6):279-80.Despite strong protests from a minority group of critics, the New York City Board of Education adopted a measure February 27, 1991, approving universal availability of condoms in city high schools to students without the need for parental consent. This expanded HIV education program allows the system's 261,000 students in 120 public high schools to procure condoms from any of 17 clinics and any teacher or staff member volunteering for the program. While a few, small U.S. school districts have implemented such programs in efforts to curb the incidence of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases infections, and unwanted pregnancies, this move by New York city's enormous school district could set the trend for similar action by other large school systems. The Centers for Disease Control document 691 cases of AIDS in youths aged 13-19, and 7,303 among those aged 20-24. More than 20% of U.S. AIDS cases are among those aged 20-29. Given the long incubation period for HIV, many if not most of these case probably stem from HIV infection during the teenage years. New York City accounts for 20% of all reported AIDS cases among youths aged 13-21, placing New York teens at disproportionate risk for infection. The number of infected adolescents doubles every 14 months. More than adults, these youths are likely to have contracted HIV through heterosexual contact instead of through IV-drug use or homosexual intercourse. Making condoms readily and confidentially available to adolescents, youths vulnerable to HIV infection will no longer fail to procure them due to embarrassment, fear of resistance from store clerks, and cost. The Youth News Service reveals youths to have been most supportive of the new program for several months, and anxious for its implementation. A random poll of adults found support for condom distribution in high schools and junior high schools to be 64% and 47%, respectively.
Trends in HIV / AIDS behavioural research among homosexual and bisexual men in the United States: 1981-1991.
AIDS CARE. 1991; 3(3):281-7.Reviewing the existing research, this article traces the behavioral change among homosexual and bisexual men in the US between 1981-91, and discusses behavioral research goals for the future. First detected in 1981, AIDS quickly became associated with the homosexual and bisexual male community. Between 1981 and 1984, the research community made remarkable advances in coming to understand the epidemic. Case-control studies pointed out the high AIDS risk associated with some of the sexual practices of homosexual and bisexual men: multiple sex partners, anonymous partners, and unprotected anal intercourse. With the aid of behavioral experts, the gay community began conducting an array of information and education programs. In 1983, the Center for Disease Control developed "safer sex" guidelines, which revolved around the use of condoms. From 1984-88, education efforts led to dramatic behavioral changes, which led some to believe that AIDS had been conquered among the homosexual and bisexual population. But the AIDS epidemic brought along with it discrimination against gays. Calls for HIV counseling and testing intensified. As the epidemic moves into its second decade, researchers have noticed a relapse into unsafe sexual practices. Researchers have also found that the incidence of HIV has not decreased among special subgroups of the homosexual and bisexual community: younger men who recently became sexually active, blacks and Hispanics, men of lower socioeconomic status, those who life outside large urban centers, and those who do not identify with the gay lifestyle. For this decade, behavioral research goals include maintaining the existing educational programs and revising them as new developments necessitate, and working towards long-term maintenance of behavioral change.
TEC NETWORKS. 1991 Sep; (30):1, 8-9.The author expresses concern over the lack of legislative interest in and support for reducing and rate and incidence of pregnancy and childbearing in the adolescent and teenage population. While experts and professionals have some of the answers needed to reduce these rates, often misinformed, ill-advised, and ignorant policymakers provide neither cooperation nor support for effective changes. Policymakers who have pledged to address the needs and social conditions of this age group, yet have failed to deliver once elected, should be removed from office. Those few who do support the interests of youths need help in the form of citizen advocacy and leadership. The reader is called upon to remain informed and abreast of local, state, and federal legislation regarding the needs of at-risk, pregnant, and parenting adolescents. Policymakers must, in turn, be educated about social factors directly contributing to the continued prevalence and incidence of teen pregnancy and childbearing. Systemic change, institutions, laws, and policies are required to better meet the needs of youths. Reasons for the decreased incidence of teen childbearing over the period 1970-88 include a decrease in the size of the adolescent population since 1988, increased use of contraception, and more abortions. In closing the Title X family planning program recently approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee is discussed. In view of Title X's crucial and unique role in providing services to low-income women and adolescents, the reader is urged to rally in support of its reauthorization.