Radio Role Models for the PMTCT of HIV and HIV Testing among Pregnant Women in Botswana
Sebert-Kuhlmann, A.K., Kraft, J.M., et al. Health Promotion International (2008), 23(3), pp. 260–268.
Role models—both fictional and real-life—can facilitate behavior change. The Makgabanengradio drama in Botswana was developed to help listeners protect themselves from HIV and support people with HIV through modeling and reinforcement. It included two major storylines about HIV during pregnancy which informed listeners about preventing mother to child transmission (PMTCT). About 250 episodes of Makgabanenghad been broadcast prior to surveying 500 pregnant and postpartum women. Exposure to this drama was high among these women, with 79% of respondents reporting ever listening to the program, and 53% reporting listening at least once a week. Although many women could recall a character in a PMTCT storyline, this recollection was not significantly associated with seeking HIV testing during pregnancy. Women who identified with characters in the drama, however, were more likely to be tested for HIV while pregnant. The authors conclude that such serial dramas can contribute to HIV prevention, treatment, and care when concurrent with widespread access to such services.