India's 1992-93 National Family Health Survey included questions about AIDS awareness in 13 Indian states that were locations of heightened concern to health officials. Results for the representative sample of 32,077 ever-married women of reproductive age revealed that only about 1/6 of the women had ever heard of AIDS. Those who had heard of AIDS were asked follow-up questions, and their responses indicated that 18% could not identify a single mode of transmission, 42% believed that AIDS could be transmitted through kissing, 55% knew AIDS could be avoided by practicing "safe sex" (28% mentioned condoms), and 23% understood the life-threatening risks associated with AIDS. AIDS knowledge was greatest among those older than 20 years, urban residents, more educated women, and those who had greater exposure to the mass media. Television was the greatest source of AIDS information; other sources were newspapers, radio, magazines, and friends or relatives. While television and radio were major sources of information, exposure frequency was not associated with increased knowledge. Women who had the greatest number of information sources had the most AIDS knowledge (these women were probably more educated and wealthier than the average). Based on these findings, it is recommended that television, radio, and the print media become more effective AIDS communicators, that the role of teachers and schools in AIDS education be expanded, and that ways be developed to convey AIDS information to the rural population and among illiterate people.