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TV soap operas in HIV education

Reaching out with popular entertainment

Stuart Adams

Peer reviewers
  • Sue Armstrong, DfID
  • Birgit Niebuhr, consultant

A joint publication of KfW Entwicklungsbank (Development Bank, KfW) and Capacity Building International, Germany (InWEnt), May 2009 (this edition January 2011)

1 Tv Soap

Worldwide, soap operas are among the most popular of all TV programmes. They attract many times more viewers than purely educational programmes and yet they, too, have huge potential to educate. Given that they tell stories about the universal comedies and tragedies of daily life, they are perfect vehicles for shedding light on all of the issues surrounding HIV and causing people to reflect on the implications for them and the people they love.

As one of the world’s five biggest donors to Official Development Assistance (ODA), Germany is strongly committed to the drive towards universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care. Much of Germany’s contribution comes in the form of financial and technical support for behaviour change communications (BCC), often associated with the social marketing of condoms. This publication looks closely at cases where Germany has supported the production and broadcast of television soap operas as key components of BCC in three very different countries with three very different HIV epidemics.

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