This paper identifies sociocultural and reproductive health correlates of knowledge about HIV among ever-married women using 1998–99 National Family Health Survey data from two low HIV prevalence Indian states, Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Uttar Pradesh (UP). Logistic regressions were undertaken modelling women's awareness of HIV, of whether the disease can be avoided and of effective means of protection. In MP 22.7 per cent women were aware of HIV; 56.4 per cent (of 22.7 per cent) knew that the disease can be avoided; and 47.5 per cent (of 56.4 per cent) possessed correct knowledge about effective means of protection. In UP 20.7 per cent women had awareness of HIV; 59.2 per cent (of 20.7 per cent) knew that the disease can be avoided; and 45.7 per cent (of 59.2 per cent) were informed about effective means of protection. In both states older, uneducated, rural, poor, those not exposed to television, and those who had never used a modern family planning method were less likely to possess HIV awareness. However, for women who were aware of HIV, acquisition of further knowledge about it had fewer socioeconomic barriers. These barriers were state specific so interventions to overcome them need to be highly focused.