South Africa faces a severe HIV epidemic and young people are heavily affected. Although AIDS awareness among young people in Africa is generally quite high and much research has been conducted on peer education, little is known about the perception of peer education as a HIV prevention strategy. The study draws on in-depth interviews with college students in Durban. The aim of this study is to investigate perceptions of peer educators and targeted audiences about the importance of peer education. In general, attitudes towards peer education are very positive. The findings from the study suggest that students perceive peer education as a key HIV strategy for reaching young people. Peer educators also benefit from the programme as they gain both skills and experience. However, attendance at peer education activities is generally poor and few students report that they had been exposed to peer education at their college. There are a number of barriers that impede participation in the peer education programme including lack of knowledge of activities, as well as concerns about the credibility of the source of the information.