This report presents key findings from a new body ofresearch that highlights the unmet sexual and reproductive health needs of 12-19-year-olds in Ghana. The results point to specific areas in which interventions for improving adolescent sexual and reproductive health might be targeted, and suggest that increased and sustained investment in sexual and reproductive health care for adolescents may provide enormous returns. Importantly, the behaviours and attitudes that increase the risk that adolescents will contract HIV/AIDS are inextricably linked to those that result in other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and in pregnancies (many of which are unintended and may lead to unsafe abortions). This report discusses in detail some of the challenges and opportunities for improving the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents in Ghana. Chapter 2 provides an overview of adolescent sexual behaviour, including findings on the prevalence of sex and contraceptive use. Chapter 3 examines adolescents' knowledge of sexual and reproductive health issues. The challenges involved in responding to the diverse sexual and reproductive health care needs of adolescents are highlighted in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 explores the variety of sources from which adolescents obtain information on sexual and reproductive health issues, and Chapter 6 addresses the potential role of the public health sector. The final chapter offers recommendations that can help policymakers, programme managers and other stakeholders improve adolescents' sexual and reproductive health.
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