A psychiatric consultation was requested in 51 in-patient cases of HIV infection. Reasons for referral included counselling, the evaluation of depressive symptoms, and the treatment of delirium. The most common DSM–III diagnoses included: delirium (n = 13), major depressive disorders (n = 12), dementia (n = 5), and adjustment disorders with depressive or anxious mood (n = 5). The psychiatric treatment of patients with HIV infection does not differ fundamentally from that of other medically ill patients with similar psychiatric symptoms. However, the psychiatric treatment of patients with HIV infection can be hampered by the fear of contagion, negative attitudes towards homosexuals and drug users, and overidentification or avoidance reactions.