BACKGROUND Bacteremia by Corynebacterium jeikeium is generally described in patients with a bone marrow transplantation and/or neutropenia. In 1991, the first case of bacteremia by C. jeikeium was described in a patient with AIDS and neutropenia. The aim of this study was to describe 2 cases of bacteremia by C. jeikeium in patients with AIDS without neutropenia. To the authors' knowledge, this presentation has not been described previously. METHODS The bacteremia episode was related with a central venous catheter in both patients. The first patient was diagnosed of tuberculous lymphadenitis and cerebral toxoplasmosis and the second patient of disseminated tuberculosis. Both receive specific treatment for these diseases. Zidovudine was not administered. The bacteremia resolved in both cases after withdrawal of the catheter and antibiotic treatment with vancomycin. CONCLUSIONS Bacteremia by Corynebacterium jeikeium should be considered in the differential diagnosis of febrile patients with AIDS and vascular catheters, even if granulocytopenia is not present. The isolation of C. jeikeium from blood in AIDS patients, particularly neutropenic patients, should be carefully evaluated by microbiologists and clinicians prior to discard it as a "contaminant".