Keeping girls in school reduces new HIV infections

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Higher levels of educational attainment among women are also associated with increased control over sexual and reproductive health and rights. Girls at an elementary school in Harar, Ethiopia, 2012. Credit: Jazzmany /Shutterstock

Staying in school longer has a protective benefit in reducing the risk of HIV infection. Higher levels of educational attainment among women are also associated with increased control over sexual and reproductive health and rights.

In eastern and southern Africa, a positive association between condom use at last higher-risk sex and completion rates of lower secondary school among adolescent girls and young women has been seen. Additionally, greater gains have been made in reducing new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in countries that have higher completion rates for lower secondary school (>50%).

Education Plus, a new advocacy initiative for adolescent girls’ education and empowerment in sub-Saharan Africa, is being launched to step up action to ensure that every girl in sub-Saharan Africa gets a quality secondary education.

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