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Global Health
August 18, 2015

Secondary Schooling and HIV Risk

JAMA. 2015;314(7):661. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.9659

Increasing the years of secondary school may lower the risk of contracting HIV, particularly for girls, and could be a cost-effective approach to HIV prevention, report a team of investigators from the United States and Botswana (De Neve J-W et al. Lancet Glob Health. doi:10.1016/S2214-109X(15)00087-X [published online June 29, 2015]).

The study exploited a policy reform of the grade structure of secondary education in Botswana that was implemented in January 1996 that shifted the 10th year of education from senior secondary to junior secondary school. Completion of junior secondary school is a common exit point for many students, and this change made 10th grade more accessible and increased the average years of schooling by nearly 1 year.

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