This study examined the prevalence of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in pregnant women in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Between April and July 2004, antenatal attendees at two of the largest maternity clinics in Kinshasa were tested to identify HIV status, syphilis, Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG). HIV seroprevalence was 1·9% in 2082 women. With PCR techniques, CT and NG infections were also uncommon in the first 529 women (1·7% and 0·4%, respectively). No active syphilis infection case was identified by Treponema pallidum haemagglutination assay (TPHA) and rapid plasma reagin test (RPR). A woman's risk of HIV infection was significantly associated with her reporting a male partner having had other female sexual partners (OR 2·7, 95% CI 1·2–6·2). The continuing low seroprevalence of HIV in pregnant women from Kinshasa was confirmed. Understanding factors associated with this phenomenon could help prevent a future HIV epidemic in low HIV transmission areas in Africa.