OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to describe recruitment strategies for a single-visit cervical cancer prevention study. METHODS: From January through December 1999, low-income, predominantly Latino women were recruited to participate in a single-visit cervical cancer prevention study. For the first 6 months, all women who had ever visited one of two community-based study clinics were invited to participate (clinic registry recruitment). For the remainder of the year, recruitment was modified to be primarily inclusive of advertisements in English- and Spanish-language community newspapers and fliers left in local businesses and organizations (media campaign recruitment). Eligible volunteers were randomized to one of two study arms, usual-care program or single-visit program. All study subjects completed demographic and medical questionnaires delivered by bilingual staff. Women who declined to participate in this study were asked to provide reasons for this preference. Statistical analyses included the use of chi-square, logistic regression, and Student's t test. RESULTS: The proportion of women who agreed to participate was higher in the media recruitment group than in the clinic registry group [51% (535/1041) compared to 26% (405/1542), P < 0.001]. The no-show rate among participants solicited from the media strategy was significantly less than that from the clinic registry. There were no significant differences in the median age, number of months since the last Papanicolaou smear, incidence of abnormal Papanicolaou smear, education, or income of the subjects based on the recruitment strategy. CONCLUSION: A media-based recruitment strategy was effective for this single-visit cervical prevention study. This approach may be effective for recruitment of other low-income groups to clinical trials.