The Ministry of Education will on Wednesday this week launch a nationwide HIV survey in schools.
According to the Permanent secretary, Patrick Muinda, the survey is aimed at establishing HIV knowledge, attitudes and practices in schools.
"This survey is not for testing anyone for HIV. It is purely to find out about the knowledge, skills and attitude of the learners and teachers about this epidemic for the purpose of planning interventions for HIV mitigation only," stressed Muinda.
It will involve learners from primary four to seven; from senior one to six; in senior four enrolling institutions and; in Business, Technical, Vocational Education Training (BTVET) primary seven classes.
The survey which will run up to Friday 28 June, 2013 will be undertaken in the districts of Apac, Lira, Kole, Oyam, Serere, Kumi, Kaberamaido, Katakwi, Kiruhura, Bushenyi, Kabale, Rukungiri, Mpigi, Gomba and Wakiso.
In a bid to address issues of ethics in survey, the ministry has called upon minors who intend to take part in the study to seek permission form the parents and guardians before participating.
"In order for children, aged below 18 years to participate in the survey, their parents must first give them permission using consent forms sent to their school through head teachers. The forms should be signed by parents who must ensure that they are returned to the schools," reiterated Muinda.
Interviews and questionnaires are among many of the methodologies poised to be used in gathering information during the survey.
Muinda urged all district education officers and head teachers in the selected districts to give comprehensive information and proper guidance on the survey to learners and parents.
The study comes in the heel of reports of rising HIV prevalence in the country largely attributed to complacency triggered by belief that "the pandemic is just another ordinary sickness that can be lived with after all."
The ministry of education therefore envisions this survey as the benchmark for generating new strategies to be used in curbing the rapid spread of the epidemic Uganda has recorded in the last few years.
Uganda's HIV prevalence climbed from 6.4 percent to 7.3 percent between 2006 and 2011.