The aim of this study was to assess the level of availability of HIV prevention strategies in secondary schools in Kabarole district, Uganda in order to inform the design of interventions to strengthen HIV Prevention and psychosocial support. Quantitative and qualitative research methods were used in eight secondary schools in Kabarole district to establish available HIV prevention and psychosocial support services. Questionnaires were administered to 355 students 12-24 years old. In addition, 20 Key Informant interviews were held with education service providers. Quantitative data was analyzed using Epi-data and qualitative data were analyzed by thematic content analysis. Seven of the eight schools had at least one HIV prevention strategy. Two teachers in each of the five schools had been trained in HIV prevention. No school had a nurse trained in HIV prevention, care and support. Education service providers had limited knowledge of HIV prevention support and care of students living with HIV. We found out that students had knowledge on how one can acquire HIV. HIV prevention services reported by students in schools included: talks from teachers and guests (19%), drama with HIV prevention related messages (16%), peer education clubs (15%), workshops and seminars on HIV (8%), sensitization about HIV/AIDS (7%), guidance and counseling (6%), talking compounds- (5%), abstinence talks (6%), keeping students busy in sports (4%), straight talk (4%). Sixty three percent reported receiving HIV reading materials from various sources. Preventing HIV infection among students in schools is still demanding with limited interventions for students. Efforts to support school interventions should focus on including HIV Prevention in the school curriculum, working with peer educators as well as education service providers who spend much of the time with the students while at school.
HIV; Prevention; Secondary schools