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Development. 2006 Mar; 49(1):18-22.Marsha J. Tyson Darling reflects on the issues she explored in her plenary commentary at the AWID Forum. She brings to the fore the unprecedented challenges posed by the emergence of rapidly developing and largely unregulated new reproductive and genetic biotechnologies. (author's)
South African Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2006; 12(1):16, 18.The past 10 years have seen major advances in health care policy and services that support sexual and reproductive rights in South Africa. Significant milestones include the legalisation of termination of pregnancy (TOP) and the provision of free public sector services for maternal and child health (MCH) and contraception. At the same time the HIV epidemic has expanded rapidly during the last decade, and today an estimated 29% of women of reproductive age (15 - 49 years) in South Africa are HIV-infected. Despite these parallel developments, little attention has been paid to the way in which advances in sexual and reproductive rights in South Africa are extended to HIV-infected individuals. (excerpt)
Nairobi, Kenya, Program for Appropriate Technology in Health [PATH], Scouting for Solutions, 2006 Oct.  p. (USAID Cooperative Agreement No. GPO-A-00-05-00009-00)Scouting for Solutions is a five-year project that aims to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS by promoting health sexual behavior amongst Scouts in Kenya and Uganda, including the promotion of abstinence until marriage, fidelity in marriage, and monogamous relationships. The project, funded by the US Agency for International Development, is being implemented by the US-based nongovernmental organization PATH, in conjunction with national Scouts associations in Kenya and Uganda. By 2009, the project with reach as estimated 325,000 girls and boys aged 12-15 years with intensive and repeated HIV prevention strategies and health promotion activities. (excerpt)
Journal of Southern African Studies. 2006 Mar; 32(1):85-105.This article investigates the extent of women's participation in South African public debate during the Government of National Unity, a two-year period beginning with the country's first non-racial elections of 1994 and ending with the signing of the Constitution in 1996. The new democratic government established basic rights enabling all citizens, regardless of race or gender, to engage in public debate. Were women able to take advantage of this opportunity? What factors advanced or impeded their progress? The first section of the article draws upon analyses of deliberative democracy to construct a model for assessing women's participation in public debate. Part two evaluates the justness of South African debate in four arenas of civic performance, action and argument at three geographic levels. The article argues that the liberal moment in South African politics was dominated by a state that prompted significant institutional reform, dramatically opening the South African public sphere. Nevertheless, sexism, a lack of education, skills and resources minimised women's ability to take advantage of these changes. (author's)
Revista Estudos Feministas. 2006 May-Sep; 14(2):509-521.The civil union between persons of the same sex is analyzed in this essay through the discussion of the roots of the anti-homosexual prejudice and the fight for the citizenship of gays, lesbians and transgenders in Brazil, and through listing the different manifestations of homofobia in our social environment. We deconstruct the contrary opinions against the homosexual marriage, justifying with etho-historical evidences the extending of equal rights to the couples of the same sex, including the legal recognition of the civil union. (author's)
Indian Journal of Community Medicine. 2006 Jan-Mar; 31(1): p..'Lack of sex education in Indian schools affects mental/ psychological development of children negatively' -- This view is being expressed emphatically nowadays by external experts. The irony of the situation is that Indian experts are agreeing to this without so much of giving it a thought. As Dr. Srivastava, a psychology faculty in an Indian university opines, 'if we consider this advice in context of Indian culture... we can conclude that possibly ... our country at least does not need it (sex education)'. Reportedly, many teachers are opposed to the idea while simultaneously others are strongly advocating it. In view of the controversy pertaining to the subject it is important that various issues pertaining to sex education are clarified. Firstly, it is important to know the aims and objectives of introducing the subject of sex education in school curricula. Very often, people advocate sex education saying that it will help in controlling AIDS and in reducing adolescent pregnancies and the incidents of sexual assaults on women. Such statements are misleading and are based on false assumptions. These false promises (and premises), may lead to frustration in future. Because if it had been so, there would have been no such problem in western countries which have an elaborate system of sex education in schools. We all know that sexual promiscuity and homosexuality is widely prevalent in countries like USA where family as an institution is broken and many experimental family systems exhorting free sex have been tried. Even AIDS originated from there. Thus, sex education is not a proven guarantee against spread of AIDS and should not be promoted with such an aim. (excerpt)
Comparison of knowledge, attitudes, experience, and opinions between teachers and guardians regarding the emergency contraceptive pill in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Nursing and Health Sciences. 2006 Mar; 8(1):27-35.Teachers and guardians (parents or authorized persons) are expected to collaborate in educating female students about emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) but it is unknown whether they have similar perspectives on ECPs. This study aimed to compare their knowledge, attitudes, experience, and opinions regarding ECPs. Questionnaires were distributed to 720 female teachers and guardians of eight randomly selected high schools and vocational schools in Chiang Mai, Thailand. There were significantly more teachers who knew about the existence of ECPs than guardians. More guardians reported some accurate information regarding ECPs than did teachers. More teachers than guardians believed that the use of ECPs was not morally wrong. Both teachers and guardians had similar experience with ECP use and similar agreement in teaching female adolescents about ECPs. The teachers and guardians had some different opinions on teaching barriers. It is suggested that both teachers and guardians are suited to teach female adolescents about ECPs, but they need preparation in different aspects. (author's)
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2006 Nov; 160(11):1151-1156.The objective was to examine US public opinion on sex education in schools to determine how the public's preferences align with those of policymakers and research scientists. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Setting: July 2005 through January 2006. Participants: Randomly selected nationally representative sample of US adults aged 18 to 83 years (N=1096). Main Outcome Measures: Support for 3 different types of sex education in schools: abstinence only, comprehensive sex education, and condom instruction. Approximately 82% of respondents indicated support for programs that teach students about both abstinence and other methods of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Similarly, 68.5% supported teaching how to properly use condoms. Abstinence-only education programs, in contrast, received the lowest levels of support (36%) and the highest level of opposition (about 50%) across the 3 program options. Self-identified conservative, liberal, and moderate respondents all supported abstinence-plus programs, although the extent of support varied significantly. Our results indicate that US adults, regardless of political ideology, favor a more balanced approach to sex education compared with the abstinence-only programs funded by the federal government. In summary, abstinence-only programs, while a priority of the federal government, are supported by neither a majority of the public nor the scientific community. (author's)
Comprehensive sex education: strong public support and persuasive evidence of impact, but little funding.
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2006 Nov; 160(11):1182-1184.The article by Bleakley et al strong evidence that a very large majority of adults in this country supports comprehensive sex education programs that teach about abstinence and also other methods of preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, whereas only a minority of adults supports the teaching of only abstinence. These results build on numerous somewhat similar surveys that have been conducted for decades demonstrating such support. Indeed, as long ago as 1943, the Gallup Poll found that 68% of adults approved of sex education in schools. By 1985, that support had increased to 85%. Furthermore, for decades these polls have demonstrated that adults want the instruction to include both abstinence and condoms and other methods of contraception. Notably, this support is not limited to only certain parts of the country; similar polls in more conservative southern states, such as North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas, have demonstrated strong support for programs that encourage abstinence but also encourage the use of condoms and other contraceptives among those who do have sex. (excerpt)
Adapting the popular opinion leader intervention for Latino young migrant men who have sex with men.
AIDS Education and Prevention. 2006; 18 Suppl A:137-148.Young Latino migrant men who have sex with men are at high risk for HIV infection. The Popular Opinion Leader intervention, shown to be effective with White gay men, was adapted by the Farm worker Justice Fund, Inc., for this Latino migrant population. This project, called the Young Latino Promotores, was implemented over a 2-year period by community-based organizations in Vista, California, and McAllen, Texas, with capacity building assistance from the Farm worker Justice Fund, Inc. We report on challenges, preliminary findings, and lessons learned from adapting this intervention. (author's)
Community attitudes towards sexual activity and childbearing by HIV-positive people in South Africa.
AIDS Care. 2006 Oct; 18(7):772-776.While the ability to lead a healthy sexual life and to choose whether and when to have children are well-established features of reproductive health and human rights, issues surrounding sexual activity and childbearing among HIV-infected women and men have received little attention in sub-Saharan Africa. We conducted a semi-structured, cross-sectional survey at 26 primary health care clinics in South Africa to investigate community attitudes towards sexual activity and reproduction by HIV-infected individuals. Of the 843 women interviewed, slightly less than half (43%, n = 361) thought that people living with HIV/AIDS should remain sexually active if they choose, while 13% (n = 113) said they thought that people living with HIV/AIDS should have children if they wished to do so. In multivariate analysis, negative attitudes towards both sexuality and childbearing were persistently associated with not knowing someone infected with HIV (p = 0.001 and 0.043, respectively). These findings suggest that the sexual and reproductive health rights of HIV-infected women and men may be an important target as part of efforts to reduce HIV/AIDS-related stigma. Health policies and services are required to reinforce the reproductive rights of HIV-infected individuals in South Africa and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa where HIV is most prevalent. (author's)
Journal of Community Health. 2006 Apr; 31(2):84-93.The purpose of this study was to explore the knowledge, attitudes and barriers to use of postpartum care service among rural communities in Uganda. Study was a part of a larger reproductive health evaluation project, and was cross-sectional in nature utilizing qualitative research methods using the narrative inquiry. Two matched rural communities were used in this study; Semuto in Luwero district, and Lwamaggwa in Rakai district. Fifty key informants who were purposefully selected from each study site were interviewed. They included community leaders, political leaders, health care providers, women leaders and community members. One-on-one interviews were conducted with key community informants using an interview guide. The purpose of the interview was explained to each participant, and written informed consent was obtained before the start of the interview. Respondents were allowed to express their views, opinions and observations on several health issues including postpartum health care services. There was a low level of knowledge about postpartum care services among the respondents of the two communities. There was lack of awareness about postpartum care and it's benefits. The main barriers to use of services were; misconceptions regarding the importance of postpartum care, distance to health facilities, poverty, and health system factors notably; poor facilities, lack of essential drugs, and poor attitudes of health workers. In the effort to improve reproductive health care services, there is an urgent need to improve postpartum services, and make them more accessible and user friendly. The training of providers at all levels is essential, in addition to educating families on the importance of postpartum care services. (author's)
Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care. 2006 Oct; 32(4):249-252.Both the Delphi method and nominal group technique offer structured, transparent and replicable ways of synthesising individual judgements and have been used extensively for priority setting and guideline development in health-related research including reproductive health. Within evidence-based practice they provide a means of collating expert opinion where little evidence exists. They are distinct from many other methods because they incorporate both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Both methods are inherently flexible; this article also discusses other strengths and weaknesses of these methods. (excerpt)
Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care. 2006 Oct; 32(4):215-217.Many groups seek a change in current UK abortion legislation. Such organisations consist of parliamentary groups, professional bodies, pro-choice and anti-abortion campaign groups and charitable service providers. Individuals have initiated court cases to achieve change. Abortion law in the UK is laid down in the Abortion Act 1967, as amended by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. This law allows abortion in approved circumstances, while illegal abortion is still a criminal offence under the Offences Against The Person Act 1861. Modifications of general abortion law have arisen from case law (e.g. Paton v. British Pregnancy Advisory Service Trustees, 1979). Current proposals for law reform range from complete repeal of the Abortion Act 1967 to reform of the existing legal framework. The main subjects are abortion on request up to 14 weeks' gestation, better access to early abortion, easier access to late abortion, reducing the upper limit, and restricting the definition of serious handicap. (excerpt)
Connections. 2006 Jan;  p.Public opinion surveys in Russia indicate that a majority of Russians believe more attention should be given to HIV/AIDS and that the media can be an effective vehicle for promoting greater awareness of the issue, according to a July 2005 survey released by Transatlantic Partners Against AIDS (TPAA). The survey, which polled a nationally representative sample of Russian adults aged 18 to 50, also indicates that 84 percent of respondents believe that the number of Russians living with AIDS has increased during the past five years, 70 percent believe that AIDS is not receiving enough public attention, and 78 percent view mass media as an instrumental component in the fight against AIDS. This survey is reflective of official AIDS statistics, which estimate that 800,000 to 1.5 million Russians may be living with HIV/AIDS, according to TPAA. The organization also reports that AIDS has been particularly devastating to younger generations, with men and women under the age of 30 accounting for 80 percent of all registered cases of HIV. This finding is critical because it raises serious health concerns for the future of an already declining Russian population. (excerpt)
Public opinion regarding oocyte donation in Turkey: first data from a secular population among the Islamic world.
Human Reproduction. 2006; 21(1):318-323.We aimed to reveal the general attitudes of Turkish people toward various aspects of oocyte donation. This descriptive study was carried out in two separate districts of a large Turkish city. Four hundred participants were chosen by cluster sampling methods. The questionnaires were performed by 4th year medical students face to face with the participants. The participants consisted of 232 women (58%) and 168 men (42%); 65% were married, 5% were divorced; 64% had children, 15 (4%) had infertility problems, 263 (66%) were graduates of high school or university; 269 (67%) considered themselves religious. Only less than one-third of the respondents actually knew what oocyte donation meant. Approval of oocyte donation was high in our study sample. Only 61 (15%) respondents showed complete objection to oocyte donation and more men were in favour than women. Less than half of the participants thought that their religion would prevent oocyte donation if they needed it. More than half of the participants would prefer the use of oocyte donation treatment rather than adoption of a child. This is the first report on the attitudes towards oocyte donation from a country having a secular constitution and whose population is mainly Muslim. The most important conclusion to be drawn from the present study is the fact that most of the participants did not have any objection to oocyte donation treatments. (author's)