This study assessed HIV attitudes among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in the Namakkal district of Tamilnadu, India, as well as HIV knowledge before and after group counseling sessions. Two hundred thirteen women (97%) attending five antenatal clinics in July 2004 accepted HIV counseling and testing and completed precounseling and postcounseling questionnaires. Although the majority of women had heard of HIV, precounseling knowledge was low (mean precounseling score; 6.9/18, SD: 4.53), with scores correlating with the women's educational level and the number of sources from which they had received information about HIV. Posttest scores increased by 21%, however, understanding of modalities to prevent HIV infection remained poor. Group counseling sessions achieve small gains in HIV knowledge, but there is a continued need for ongoing and multifaceted HIV education in rural India.
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