This paper discusses ways in which empirical research investigating sexual networks can further understanding of the transmission of HIV in London, using information from a 24-month period of participant observation and 53 open-ended, in-depth interviews with eighteen men and one woman who have direct and indirect sexual links with each other. These interviews enabled the identification of a wider sexual network between 154 participants and contacts during the year August 1994-July 1995. The linked network data help to identify pathways of transmission between individuals who are HIV+ and those who are HIV−, as well as sexual links between ‘older’ and ‘younger’ men, and with male prostitutes. There appears to be considerable on-going transmission of HIV in London. The majority of participants reported having had unprotected anal and/or vaginal sex within a variety of relationships. The implications of these findings for policies designed to prevent the transmission of HIV are discussed.