Evaluation of the television drama series, Intersexions: Episodes 1 – 26

Evaluation of the television drama series, Intersexions: Episodes 1 – 26

This summary shares the findings of a qualitative evaluation of the first series of Intersexions, a 26-part South African entertainment-education television drama series to communicate health- and HIV-related messages, with a focus on sexual networks. This report presents qualitative research findings about audience responses to the first 26 episodes and discusses how viewers engaged with and responded to the drama series, which was produced by Curious Pictures, Antz Media, and Johns Hopkins Health and Education in South Africa. Based on focus groups and interviews, it was found that "the compelling drama, identifiable and realistic storylines, and the focal content of the drama series - the sexual network - attracted and intrigued viewers."

The series set out to portray the lives of ordinary South Africans and demonstrate different contexts that put people at risk of HIV infection, emphasising sexual networks and multiple concurrent partnerships. "Using well-researched case studies and numerous dramatic devices, the series intended to show how the moment people become sexually active they become part of a sexual network of people who are connected even though they may never have met." The interrelated episodes mapped out a sexual network, and the series closed with a one-hour 'docudrama' that explicitly revealed the sexual network and the virus's movement between characters