The Hope Study drama series was created as a radio drama about HIV prevention research. The main objective of this initiative was to increase awareness and community dialogue about clinical trial research. In 2011, the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (WRHI), Johannesburg, South Africa, with funding from the Wellcome Trust and in partnership with ABC Ulwazi, created this series.

Communication Strategies: 

The Hope Study drama series is about a group of women who decide whether or not to participate in the fictional Hope Study, which is a clinical trial loosely based on the actual trials of CAPRISA 004 and FACTS 001 clinical trials with the testing of 1% tenofovir gel for the prevention of vaginally acquired HIV infection, if used before and after sex. Key clinical trial issues and concepts raised in the drama series include the informed consent process, randomisation, gel sharing, adherence, and trial closure. Each episode of the drama was aired on Alex FM radio and was followed by a pre-scripted "expert interview" with a WRHI research nurse. This interviews allowed the nurse to reiterate and summarise the core issues and concepts raised in the drama and also to promote current trials that are taking place at WRHI. Also, when the drama was aired, there was an opportunity for listeners to phone or SMS (text message) the station with questions, comments, or opinions.


The drama was recorded in the following South African languages: isZulu, Xhosa, Tswana, English, and Afrikaans.


The WRHI is sharing the twelve-episode drama series with organisations. The complete package includes:

1-      Hard copy CDs with the recorded drama

2-      English version of the drama scripts (pdf)

3-      English version of the expert interview scripts (pdf)

Development Issues: 

HIV, Research

Key Points: 

WRHI has the intention of following up on utilisation this package at study sites and in communities.

Hope Study

Email from Bonnie Saxon to The Communication Initiative on March 30 2012.