In South Africa there are general studies that aim to understand HIV prevalence and specific surveys for target groups. However there is a gap in research that relates particularly to university students active participation in HIV/AIDS prevention messaging. This study explores the use of the Communication for Social Change (CFSC) theory with students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban. The study takes the form of a survey, using researcher administered questions with 400 students at two campuses to understand their perceptions of the ‘Abstinence, Be faithful and Condomise'' prevention strategy. Two focus groups were conducted at both campuses to further analyse the survey findings, with a particular reference to the use of dialogue to actively engage students in discussions about HIV/AIDS prevention messages. Students at both campuses explored the role dialogue could play to encourage student participation in the design of a new HIV/AIDS prevention message. Students strongly promoted a revision of this message which should include ‘accountability'' and ‘responsibility'' as part of the HIV/AIDS prevention strategy.