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Names were taken and the group was asked to decide on the 40 people who were most likely to be able to participate in the study.
The presenter read aloud the study’s consent form to the 40 and gave an opportunity for questions.
The setting was historically a subsistence farming region within a radius of 1.5 hours’ drive from the town of Mthatha, where contemporary households are primarily supported by contributions from family working elsewhere, grants, and pensions.
The area has two sizeable towns, seven small towns, and many villages.
There are 12 hospitals, and most villages have a clinic that distributes free condoms.
Eligible locations were about 10 km from the nearest cluster (to minimise contamination of study arms), had a senior or junior secondary school, and a community willing to participate (established through a process of community mobilisation13).
Clusters were grouped into seven strata, with one stratum comprising the townships and six having the villages grouped according to proximity to particular roads.