In a background of very high prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection among women of childbearing age and the increasing demand for treatment to prevent mother-to-child transmission, we investigated the desire for a future pregnancy among women in Zimbabwe in relation to (1) self-perceived risk of HIV infection, (2) child mortality, and (3) spontaneous abortion. A random cross-sectional sample of 2250 ever-married women aged 15-49 years was selected from 6,828 households in rural and urban Zimbabwe. The sample was representative of the geographic distribution of women. One eligible subject was selected per household for a structured interview on factors associated with the desire for future pregnancy. Overall, 54% of the participants desired to get pregnant in future; 55% perceived themselves at high risk for HIV infection; 6% reported the death of at least one child less than the age of 5 years in the last 5 years; and 12% reported at least one spontaneous abortion in the last 5 years. In multiple logistic regression analysis, reporting at least one child's death (OR = 1.77; 95% CI 1.13-2.78) and at least one spontaneous abortion in the last 5 years (OR = 1.81; 95% CI 1.08-3.04) were significantly associated with a higher desire to get pregnant; however, high self-perceived risk for HIV infection was not (OR = 0.85; 95% CI 0.67-1.09). High self-perceived risk for infection with HIV was not associated with a lower desire for a future pregnancy among women in Zimbabwe in a high-prevalence area. In fact, our data suggest an increased desire for future pregnancy to replace childhood deaths or spontaneous abortions that may result from HIV infection. Voluntary HIV testing services are challenged with balancing counseling messages on the strong desire for children, the risk of mother-to-child transmission, and poor fetal outcomes. Further research is needed to explore utilitarian-economic, social, and psychological values attributed to children by women and their partners. The involvement of men as partners in childbearing should be explored, as their desire for children may be the primary barrier to protective behavior change among women.