Reinforce the Inter-Connectedness of YRH Elements
Guiding Principle for Good Youth Reproductive Health Policy
Policy should make clear the connection among the various key elements of YRH, for example reinforcing the connection between policies that help to both prevent unwanted pregnancy and prevent HIV/STI infection. One way to stress the inter-connectedness is to ensure that policies begin by communicating broadly an integrated message about youth reproductive health.
Expanding Contraceptive Options and Access for Youth (148kb). FHI, 2004. This YouthLens publication discusses how education, services, and products can help protect youth against unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
Q. What are the common influences on the reproductive health of young people?
Young people's vulnerability to risky sex and other unhealthy behaviors is tied to a host of individual, family, and community factors that influence young people and are closely related to economic and educational opportunities. Good health and other physical, moral, and intellectual development outcomes are often mutually reinforcing. For example, children who are healthy do better in school; likewise staying in school helps to protect many adolescents from risky behavior that may lead to unwanted pregnancy and STIs. Several common factors are associated with protection of youth from risky sex. These include connectedness to parents and parental expectations about school, marriage, and sexuality; factors in the school environment such as connectedness, family life education, and academic performance; expectations and attitudes of sexual partners and peers; and feelings of self-efficacy and self-control.
To find out more about risk and protective factors, read about the study by Robert Blum and Christine Nelson-Mmari presented at the 2003 YouthNet meeting on HIV Prevention for Young People in Developing Countries.