This study reviews available data on HIV/AIDS in Pakistan and is the first to analyse a clinical series of HIV-infected patients thus giving a wider perspective of the epidemic in Pakistan. A retrospective analysis of all medical records of patients with HIV/AIDS since 1986 was conducted in March 1998 at a Karachi hospital. There were 67 patients. Twenty-two were overseas (Middle East) contract workers. None were sex workers or drug users. Fifty-four had travelled or lived abroad. High risk sexual behaviour was reported in 35 patients of whom 26 men reported contact with commercial sex workers, mostly in the Middle East (21). The most common AIDS indicator condition was chronic diarrhoea. HIV in Pakistan is currently a disease of those Pakistanis (and their sexual partners) who have travelled abroad, overseas contract workers and those who, prior to 1989, were transfused abroad or received imported blood products.