The HIV and AIDS Conversation: Who Are The Adolescents Talking To?

Sarah Moyo, Shamiso Iline Chingombe, Viola Ingwani, Loveness Chindanya


Healthy sexuality communication is critical in equipping adolescents with information and skills necessary in combating HIV and AIDS. This mixed method study sets to explore who the adolescents are talking to in regards to sex and HIV and AIDS in the Zimbabwean context. 147 secondary school learners (72 females and 75 males, age range 13 -20 years) were randomly sampled. Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and questionnaires based on a 5 point Likert scale written on a continuum of SA-SD were employed to gather data. It was established that 36% adolescents feel free to discuss sex issues with family. Another 36% with friends, 14.9% with counselors and 12.1% put across that they were not free to discuss sex with anyone. In the FGDs most of the adolescents stated that they were more comfortable discussing sexuality issues with same sex parents. They indicated that conversations carried out with parents were largely centred on HIV and AIDS, puberty, abstinence and avoiding early sexual debut. Sexuality communication with peers was focused on condom use, contraceptives, abstinence, pregnancy, sexual intentions and sexual experiences. To promote healthy sexual behaviours among adolescents there is therefore need to craft programs and interventions that strengthen and improve the quality and content of sexuality dialogue with parents and peers.


HIV and AIDS; Adolescents; Sexuality Communication

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