Exploring cultural barriers to the transfer of HIV prevention knowledge from the older to the younger generation in South Africa.
Ngenda, Jacques Mugeyo.
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HIV and AIDS risk behaviour remains a critical health concern for younger generation in South Africa. Sexual debut is the key factor in the vulnerability of younger generation to HIV infection. A study conducted in South Africa revealed that there is emerging evidence to suggest that a small proportion of younger generation have stated having sex before the age of 15 years. It was also highlighted that their older generation are not willing to openly discuss issues related to HIV and sex, which could enhance younger generations’ ability to make responsible decisions in order to minimize high-risk behaviour. Central to this study was to explore cultural barriers that affect the transfer of HIV prevention knowledge from older to younger generation, and suggest ways through which the transfer of HIV prevention knowledge from older to younger generation can be improved. This study made use of a qualitative research approach, and data was collected from 12 participants through the use in-depth interviews. The findings from the study indicated that a large majority of older generation are prevented from talking to younger generation about sex and related topics due to cultural barriers. It was revealed that talking about sex remains a taboo. In addition one of the areas that were repeatedly identified by many participants was that a large percentage of older generation does not seem to be aware on how to approach the younger generation and discusses HIV and AIDS. This implies that the message has not reached young generation. Recommendations for further study on the subject under investigation were provided. The study suggested that with the identified barriers and recommendations at their disposal HIV and AIDS campaigners will improve the lives of younger generation. This study draws the conclusion that more awareness campaigns with regard to culture barriers, sex and HIV are needed.