MPhil study projects

Parents’ knowledge, perceptions and attitudes about communication with their children on sexuality and HIV, Somerset West, South Africa.

Student: Vivian Alobwede

Country: Cameroon

This study examined parents’ understanding of sexuality and HIV, as well as their approach to communicating these topics with their children, given the role of adolescent pregnancy in HIV transmission.

Through qualitative analysis, involving focus group discussions with 15 participants from Somerset West, South Africa, the study investigated parental knowledge, attitudes and perceptions regarding sexuality and HIV communication with their children.

While most parents demonstrated sufficient knowledge and a positive attitude to discussing these topics, some struggled to broach the subject. Nevertheless, there was a general consensus among parents on the importance of such discussions to enhance their children’s awareness.

The study highlighted the pivotal role of family in shaping children’s attitudes and behaviour, with parental involvement serving to strengthen bonds and foster open communication. The study’s findings were constrained by its limited sample size. Further research encompassing the broader Somerset West community could provide valuable insights to expedite HIV eradication efforts by improving parental engagement.