Background: Voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) services are a major component of HIV prevention and treatment efforts. We developed a drama-based intervention to promote VCT services in a peri-urban community in South Africa.
Methods: Young adults from the community received training in HIV/AIDS and drama, and developed sketches to address perceived barriers to VCT. Over 12 months, 80 performances were held in busy community settings. The intervention was evaluated through changes in VCT uptake at the local clinic compared with comparable communities nearby.
Results: After the start of the intervention in August 2003, a 172% increase in the uptake of VCT services was observed in the intervention community. This was significantly greater than demand for VCT in either of the control communities during the same period (P < 0.0001).
Conclusion: A structured, community-based education program based on drama can lead to substantial increases in the demand for VCT services in resource-limited settings.