In the absence of a cure for HIV/AIDS, the notion of 'education as a social vaccine' continues to be an important weapon in addressing the sexual behaviour of young people. HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa has been identified as a predominantly heterosexual disease with over 85% of all infections being sexually transmitted. Girls and women are more vulnerable than boys and men. This policy brief draws on the findings of an in-depth qualitative study of 104 Ghanaian young people between the ages of 14 to 19 years living in contexts of poverty. It focuses on how these young people perceive HIV/AIDS, and relate the disease to their sexual practice. The implications of the research for policy development in the prevention of HIV/AIDS infection amongst youth are discussed.
Policy Brief No. 11, October 2010, Centre for Commonwealth Education, University of Cambridge, UK, 6 pp.