To determine the frequency and types of major opportunistic diseases in patients with HIV infection in South Korea, we reviewed the medical records of 173 HIV-infected patients. The patients were seen from 1985 to 1998 at a referral hospital for AIDS in South Korea. Most patients (85%) were male, and 107 (62%) were infected by heterosexual contacts. CD4+ lymphocyte counts at presentation were <200/μL in 27% of the patients. Tuberculosis was the most frequent opportunistic infection (25% of patients), followed by candidiasis (21%), herpes zoster (20%), Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (10%), cytomegalovirus disease (9.8%). There were no cases of toxoplasmosis. Kaposi's sarcoma developed in 3 patients (1.7%), and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, in 2 (1.2%). Eleven patients (6.4%) developed peripheral neuropathy, and 8 (4.6%) had HIV encephalopathy. Tuberculosis was the single most important HIV-related infection in South Korean patients.