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Unprotected sex among Mexico’s young people often leads to unplanned pregnancy and unwanted births as well as risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV. From 1999 to 2002, FRONTIERS worked with the nongovernmental organization MEXFAM to test the feasibility, effectiveness, and cost of community-, clinic-, and school-based interventions to improve the reproductive health (RH) of youth aged 10–19. Eight cities were selected as intervention sites, and four as control sites. In the intervention sites, researchers worked with coordinators and “multipliers”—local community members such as teachers, community leaders, health-care providers, and peer educators—who taught courses on adolescent RH. In the community intervention, multipliers conducted outreach through events such as plays, sports events, parades, and concerts. In the clinic-based component, providers offered youth-friendly services at their health facilities. Four of the intervention cities also received a school-based intervention. As concluded in this brief, young people in Mexico have a general knowledge of RH, but their weak understanding of reproductive physiology and STIs makes them vulnerable to the consequences of risky behavior. Program managers should strengthen education on adolescent RH for both young people and service providers.






Frontiers in Reproductive Health