Background: Gandeepam is an NGO in rural south India, with an HIV prevalence rate estimated at 2-7 times the national average. Aside from several outreach programs, Gandeepam practices Siddha medicine. Objective: Evaluate Gandeepam's strengths and opportunities to promote HIV education. Design: Three weeks of observing clinic practice, meeting patients, and discussing organizational structure. A survey of attitudes toward HIV was completed. Results: Gandeepam reaches a broad cross-section of its community, and effectively disseminates information. No primary HIV prevention efforts were observed. Conclusion: Current strengths include an established network for information dissemination, and a strong community reputation. Tremendous social obstacles for disseminating effective HIV prevention messages remain.