The authors investigated how parents living with HIV/AIDS communicate about HIV prevention with their 10- to 18-year-old children. Semistructured interviews with 76 mothers and fathers were analyzed for (a) their experiences discussing HIV prevention with adolescents and (b) advice for other parents about how to best broach HIV-related topics. Interactive conversations were regarded as particularly effective. A five-step process for interactive communication emerged as a result of these discussions. Parents emphasized that adolescents should have a “voice” and a “choice” in HIV-related talks. Health care professionals can facilitate adolescent sexual health by encouraging parents to actively involve their children in discussions about HIV prevention. Future HIV prevention programs could benefit by providing parents with appropriate tools to foster interactive discussions about sexual health with adolescents.
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