The acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a growing problem in Australia: 438 new cases were added in 1988, resulting in the cumulative total of 1562 patients up to November 1989. The cumulative death rate stands at 54%, the majority of deaths being due to secondary infections and malignancies. The clinical presentation of these problems is often non-specific and protean; early diagnosis is the key to successful treatment and survival. Whole body gallium-67 scintigraphy offers an early diagnostic window into many of these infections and malignancies. Although the findings may be non-specific, the procedure is sensitive and may indicate the need for urgent empirical therapy or direct the more definitive investigation. A review of our experience with gallium-67 scanning in 56 AIDS patients at the Prince of Wales/Prince Henry Hospitals confirms its role in presaging significant clinical deterioration in patients with AIDS.