Christine Soon, Soweto, South Africa

Looking at the role of parent-adolescent communication concerning pregnancy, sex and HIV

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I traveled to Soweto, South Africa in May 2009 where I conducted research at the Kganya Motsha Adolescent Centre in Kliptown, Soweto. Soweto is a collection of townships southwest of Johannesburg with a population of approximately 3 million people.

The Kganya Motsha Adolescent Centre offers comprehensive HIV management (voluntary counseling and testing, STI education, etc) to adolescents ages 14-19 years old.

“I conducted focus groups and interviews with adolescents and parents to examine the role of parent-adolescent communicationconcerning pregnancy, STIs and HIV.”

The results of this study will help to identify HIV/STI protective factors that exist in the family environment and to better target family-level interventions at decisions and choices related to healthy sexual behaviours to reduce HIV in this area.

christine_soon2During my practicum I also helped organize a Youth Event to celebrate Youth Day in South Africa, a day where adolescents and community members came together to enjoy dance, poetry, debate, artwork and other fun activities.

I worked for 12 weeks at the PHRU where I met health professionals and researchers from around the world and got to learn more about ongoing research projects at the Unit. I also had the opportunity to attend the 5th International AIDS Society Conference in Cape Town, South Africa.

For more information, feel free to contact me at csoon@interchange.ubc.ca

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