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Family Health International

Network Vol. 20, No. 3 is now on-line. This issue of Family Health International's (FHI) quarterly scientific bulletin focuses on

adolescent reproductive health.

Read the full text of Network 20-3 on FHI's Web site at




Sex education and other services for young adults help reduce their risks of an unplanned pregnancy or infection from a sexually transmitted disease. The issue includes examples of programs for adolescents in Jamaica, Mali, Uganda, Zambia, Egypt, South Africa and India.

Many Youth Face Grim STD Risks

Adolescents need skills and self-confidence to abstain from sexual activity or to reduce their risks. Even when adolescents have accurate

knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), they often do not heed warnings to reduce risky behaviors. Common features of successful STD programs for adolescents are listed.

Sex Education Helps Prepare Young Adults

Reproductive health education can be successful in a variety of settings, including schools and community centers. Sex education can

delay first intercourse and encourages condom use among adolescents who are already sexually active. "Do Youth Need Information?" summarizes surveys among youth to evaluate their level of knowledge. "Reproductive Health Web Sites for Youth" provides a description of Web sites that specialize in adolescent reproductive health information.

Better Services Can Reduce Abortion Risks

Fear, shame and desperation lead some young women to end a pregnancy, often under unsafe conditions. To help reduce deaths and illnesses caused by abortion, health experts recommend making family planning services and information widely available to adolescents. A related article describes research on how friends and family influence abortion decisions.

Some Cultures Tolerate Risky Male Behavior

Risky behavior among adolescent males can affect women negatively by encouraging some men to have sex only for physical gratification, to have multiple partners and to treat women with little respect.

Programs for Adolescents: Neighborhood Peer Educators in Mali

The Programme des Adolescents in Mali trains girls and boys in counseling and other educational activities to help promote

contraceptive use among their peers.

Programs for Adolescents: The "Ashe" Experience in Jamaica

Michael Holgate, a performer in the Ashe Performing Arts Academy and Ensemble in Jamaica, describes his personal experiences with the group, which promotes better reproductive health through performances and workshops.

Programs for Adolescents: Reproductive Health Merit Badge for Scouts

Working through scouting organizations, the Health of Adolescent Refugees Project in Uganda, Zambia and Egypt and the Healthy Adolescent Project in India help adolescents to learn about reproductive health through a merit badge.

Programs for Adolescents: Encouraging Youth-friendly Clinics

A South African initiative is planning strategies to improve services for young clients, including more convenient locations and hours for


Opinion: The Need to Evaluate Youth Programs

The need to evaluate youth programs carefully is outlined by Dr. Nancy E. Williamson of FHI.

More than 1,600 full-text materials in English, Spanish and French are available on our Web site: Family Health International

FHI is committed to helping women and men have access to safe, effective, acceptable and affordable family planning methods to ensure

that they achieve their desired number and spacing of children; preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted

diseases (STDs); and improving the health of women and children.