Abstract: This study assesses factors associated with viewing of ‘SIDA dans la Cite´’, a weekly television soap opera on AIDS in Coˆte d’Ivoire, and the relationship between ‘SIDA dans la Cite´’ viewing, sexual risk behaviour and condom use. The study uses a cross-sectional survey of 2,150 respondents aged 15-/49 in three regions. Logistic regression analysis was used to assess the effect of ‘SIDA dans la Cite´’ exposure on condom use. The results show that 65% of the sample had seen at least one ‘SIDA dans la Cite´’ episode. Among viewers, 27% of males and 41% of females had seen ten or more episodes. Persons who had risky sexual partners were particularly likely to watch the programme. Women who had seen ten or more episodes were 1.4 times more likely than non-viewers to have used a condom in last sex. Men who had seen ten or more episodes were 2.7 times more likely to have used a condom. We conclude that television soap operas on AIDS, such as ‘SIDA dans la Cite´’, can be an important tool for promoting condom use. The programme was most appealing to viewers who engaged in risky behaviour, who are the core transmitters of the virus. HIV prevention programmes that provide continuous information, through multiple media channels or through series of broadcasts, are likely to have the greatest impact on condom use.
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