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Masibambane - Ladies Chat (PrEP Project)

Developing a gender-enhanced PrEP information-motivation workshop for young South African women 

The Gender-Enhanced PrEP project aimed to develop and pilot an intervention workshop to increase PrEP uptake among young women (age 18-25) using peer-driven recruitment and gender-enhanced approaches. The originally plans involved the development of a face to face workshop, which had to be reimagined under COVID-19 as an online hybrid interactive workshop format utilizing WhatsApp and peer-driven recruitment.

Phase 1: Conducting a qualitative study to inform the intervention development  (2019/20)

The project team conducted a qualitative study to inform the intervention development. This included six focus groups with sexually active young women (18-25 years) in Durban; twenty qualitative interviews with men (10 HIV-positive, 10 HIV-negative or of unknown status); and ten qualitative interviews with participants from the focus group discussions.  This part of the study revealed women and men’s views of PrEP, barriers and facilitators of PrEP use, women’s and men’s views of sexuality and partnerships and potential motivators and intervention pointers to increase PrEP use.

  • Harrison, Abigail, Bhengu Nonhlonipho, Exner, Theresa, Tesfay, Nonkulelekho, Khumalo, Silindile, Bergam, Scarlett, Miller, Lori, Hoffman, Susie, Hanass-Hancock, Jill  (2022) PrEP can make a Difference:  Gender and Relationship Dynamics of PrEP and Willingness to Use PrEP among Young Women from the Masibambane Study, Durban, South Africa, Women's Health (18), p1-15
  • Bergam, Scarlett, Harrison, Abigail, Khumalo, Silindile, Bengu, Nonkulelekho, Tesfay, Nonhlonipho, Exner, Theresa, Dolezal, Curtis, Miller, Lori, Hanass-Hancock, Jill, Hoffman, Susie: (2022): Women’s Perceptions of Stigma, Sexuality, and Risk in Relation to PrEP: Qualitative Findings from the Masibambane Study, Durban, South Africa. AIDS and Behaviour early online
  • L. Miller,  A. Harrison,  N. Bhengu,  N. Tesfay,  S. Magutshwa,  S. Khumalo,  S. Bergam,  T. Exner,  J. Hanass-Hancock,  S. Hoffman “Guys are different”: Young women’s views on heterosexual relationship dynamics and how they influence women’s potential PrEP uptake and disclosure in Durban, South Africa. Poster Presentation PESUD37 AIDS2022, Montreal, Ca. 29 July-2 August, 2022
  • S. Bergam , A. Harrison, N. Bhengu , L. Miller , T. Exner, N. Tesfay, S. Magutshwa, S. Khumalo, C. Dolezal, J. Hanass-Hancock, S. Hoffman. You tell him, ‘Baby, I am protecting myself’”: Women’s agency and constraint in relationships, and the potential for PrEP use in the context of stigma in South Africa, Poster Presentation EPC278 AIDS2022, Montreal, Ca. 29 July-2 August, 2022
Phase 2: Developing a gender-enhanced workshop  (2020/21)

Guided by the qualitative data, Gender Theory, the Information Motivation and Behavior model, and Social Learning Theory, the team developed a gender-enhanced, sex-positive, group-interactive mobile phone-based workshop to promote information about and motivation to initiate oral Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). The online workshop was developed in collaboration with a working group of young women from the local area who named the intervention Masibambane - Ladies Chat.  The intervention used a hybrid (asynchronous and synchronous) online group interactive format. The full intervention development including all its steps can be found in the below publication from 2023 onwards.

  • Hanass-Hancock, J., Bhengu, N., Exner, T., Magusthwa, S., harrison, A., Dolezal, C., Miller, L., Bauman, L., & Hoffman, S. (2023). Masibambane – Ladies Chat: Developing an Online Gender-Enhanced PrEP Information-Motivational Workshop for Young South African Women. AIDS education and prevention, 35(1), 14-35. Retrieved from

Phase 3: Piloting the intervention workshops  (2021/22)

The team piloted the Masimbambane gender enhanced (GE) online interactive workshops and compare results to a group of women who accessed online information (IO) about PrEP. In a randomized pilot trial 100 women were recruited through peer-to-peer chain recruitment.  Both the GE workshop and IO group were provided with information about PrEP and other HIV/STI and pregnancy prevention options. The GE workshop additionally addressed AGYW’s gender-related barriers to using PrEP and provided an interactive space for young women to share experiences and support. For more information contact: Dr’s Susie Hoffman and Jill Hanass-Hancock .

Poster Presentations

Masibambane Facilitator Guides

PrEP news 

SAMRC study team

The study is funded by the US National Institute of Mental Health.





Brown University




​​​​​​Contact details: 

Prof Susie Hoffmann:
Prof Jill Hanass-Hancock.