The Ontario HIV Seroprevalence Study of Childbearing Women is an unliked anonymous seroprevalence study designed according to the well-established ethical and legal guidelines for such studies. Commencing in November, 1989, randomly selected neonatal heelprick specimens were tested for the presence of HIV antibodies after all identifying information had been permanently and irrevocably unlinked from the specimens. During the first year of the study 94,119 (approximately 60% of all submitted specimens) were tested. Twenty-six specimens which were repeatedly reactive by EIA were confirmed as positive for an overall crude seroprevalence rate of 2.8 per 10,000 women having live births (95% CI: 1.8-4.1). Twenty-five of the 26 confirmed seropositive results came from babies born in hospitals in the Metropolitan Toronto, Ottawa-Carlton, or Hamilton-Peel-Halton regions.