Mother-Child Communication about Sexual Health, HPV and Cervical Cancer among Antenatal Clinic Attendees in Johannesburg, South Africa

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African Journal of Reproductive Health

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Parent-child communication about sexual health is considered an effective strategy for encouraging safe sexual practices among youth. This study used a brief survey to examine mother-child communication among 86 antenatal clinic attendees in Johannesburg, South Africa. Eighty-five percent of mothers reported having enough information to discuss HIV/AIDS prevention with their children, while only 36% reported having enough information to discuss HPV/cervical cancer prevention. Thirty-seven percent of mothers who reported being comfortable discussing HIV/sexual health with their child actually discussed these topics with their child; while 58% of mothers who reported being comfortable did not discuss HIV/sexual health with their child. Future research and program planning efforts should focus on identifying the best strategies to educate South African mothers on HPV and cervical cancer, so that mothers can effectively communicate their knowledge about these topics to their children.