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Urban adolescent sexual and reproductive health in low-income and middle-income countries
  1. Kristin Mmari1,
  2. Nan Astone2
  1. 1Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  2. 2The Urban Institute, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kristin Mmari, Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA; kmmari{at}


One of the most important aspects of adolescent health is sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Currently, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) threaten the health of adolescents more than any other age group, and as many as 2.2 million adolescents are living with HIV. Understanding adolescents’ SRH needs and how to invest in improving their health can be best addressed by knowing more about the contexts that increase their vulnerability to poor sexual health outcomes. Recent evidence has highlighted an increasingly marginalised segment of the adolescent population—and that is the urban poor adolescent population in low and middle income countries (LMIC). Using an urban health framework, this paper examines the contextual factors within an urban community that influence the SRH of adolescents in LMIC. Findings show that while there is substantial research that has explored factors within the social environment, there is limited research that has explored factors within the physical environment, as well as research that has specifically explored urban adolescents’ use of SRH services and how such services can be best provided to this vulnerable population. This paper highlights the need for further research to understand the relationships between the urban poor environment and the SRH risks that adolescents face while living in such environments.

  • Adolescent Health
  • Comm Child Health

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