This study addresses the issue of the sexual needs of ethnic minority groups in the UK. Using focus group discussions with health service users and third-sector providers, it explores the perception of sex education by Black African communities living in a culturally diverse area in East London, focusing specifically on participants' understanding of safe sex, personal experiences in receiving health information, and the relevance of health-promotion messages to their health, social and cultural needs. The paper focuses on the views of the older population group, many of whom are parents; all were born and brought up outside the UK. The paper identifies a number of factors influencing the perception of sex education and health-promotion messages by study participants and discusses some complex interrelationships between the traditions and cultural norms surrounding their lives in Africa and the European context within which they find themselves today. We examine potential links between the levels of cultural adaptation and the perception of sex education in schools and clinical settings, and discuss implications of these perceptions for policy and practice.