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Adolescent sexual and reproductive health

This section summaries of published systematic reviews on adolescent sexual and reproductive health. This includes information on: effective practice in the field of adolescent health, pregnancy prevention, management of adolescent pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV/AIDS).

STIs and HIV/AIDS in Adolescents

Effectiveness of the 40 adolescent AIDS-risk reduction interventions: a quantitative review

AIDS risk reduction interventions can be effective in improving knowledge, attitudes and behavioural intentions, and in reducing risk practices. The positive relationship between improved outcomes and several elements of intervention design underscores the need for an increased focus on...

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Motivational interviewing for improving outcomes in youth living with HIV

Motivational interviewing may help youth living with HIV to reduce short-term viral loads, unprotected intercourse and alcohol use.

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A systematic review of the effectiveness of primary prevention programs to prevent sexually transmitted diseases in adolescents

This review found that it was possible to improve behaviours in adolescents that will protect against STDs. It also found that both community- and school-based STD prevention interventions did not lead to an increase in the number of adolescents who chose to become sexually active, or in the...

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HIV sexual risk-reduction interventions for youth: a review and methodological critique of randomized controlled trials

This review assessed HIV risk reduction interventions for adolescents. The authors concluded that there was considerable evidence for the effectiveness of these interventions but, owing to methodological limitations of the available research, there is a need to improve the quality of primary...

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Micronutrient supplementation in children and adults with HIV infection

Further research is needed on the benefits of both multiple micronutrient and vitamin A supplementation.

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Adolescent pregnancy and contraception

Interventions for preventing unintended pregnancies among adolescents

While single interventions were not found to be effective, combinations of interventions to improve education and contraceptive access were found to reduce unintended pregnancies among adolescents.

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School-based teenage pregnancy prevention programs: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials

The authors concluded that the variability and paucity of studies precluded a definitive conclusion. However, most abstinence-plus programmes increased rates of contraceptive use. The authors' conclusions are likely to be reliable.

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The effectiveness of adolescent reproductive health interventions in developing countries: a review of the evidence

The authors concluded that most interventions appeared to have a positive effect on knowledge and attitudes, but the effect on behaviour was less consistent. The authors' conclusions are likely to be reliable.

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Information, education and counselling

WHO recommendation on interventions to promote awareness of human, sexual and reproductive rights and the right to access quality skilled care

Because of the paucity of evidence available, additional research is recommended.

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Cognitive-behavioural interventions for children who have been sexually abused

Findings of the review : Sexual abuse of children and adolescents is a serious social problem worldwide with public health consequences. To support affected individuals and their families, cognitive behavioural therapies (CBT) have been proposed. These involve problem-solving psychotherapy designed...

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School based education programmes for the prevention of child sexual abuse

An updated version of this systematic review has been published and can be found online at . We will soon update the below RHL summary to reflect the updated findings of the systematic review. RHL summary Findings of the review : Sexual abuse of children is a serious problem...

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