Comprehensive sexuality education for out-of-school young people living with HIV and young people with disabilities: findings from a formative research study in Malawi

Case Studies & Research
Periodical title
Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters, 31:2

This formative study was undertaken between June 2020 and April 2021 to provide evidence to inform the design and delivery of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in Malawi for young people living with HIV (YPLHIV) and young people with disabilities (YPWD). The study included a desk review of the situation of these two groups and a mapping of CSE programmes and delivery approaches in Malawi. The study findings show that YPWD and YPLHIV in Malawi are marginalised groups, face stigma and discrimination, and are more vulnerable to abuse, warranting CSE that addresses their needs. Yet, they are often left out of sexuality education such as school-based programmes (due to early school drop-outs) and out-of-school programmes, as well as traditional modes. Furthermore, in instances where they have access to sexuality education, there is little evidence to suggest that the sexuality education that they receive is designed to address their needs, thus raising questions about its relevance. There is need for tailored CSE that addresses the needs of these groups and that is delivered using an approach that is easily accessible to them.