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A total of 2510 general practitioners in the London postal districts were circulated with a questionnaire about their involvement with patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection--1261 (50%) replies could be analysed. Over half of the respondents had at least one patients who was HIV seropositive and most felt confident to handle such patients' psychosocial problems. Although almost 60% of doctors had attended at least one postgraduate teaching session on the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), this had not allayed the anxieties of those doctors who were apprehensive about working with patients infected with HIV. Doctors had a positive attitude towards HIV infected patients and homosexuals, but wanted to be better informed by their patients or the hospital services. They seemed less prepared to deal with drug abusers. Doctors who had HIV positive patients and had graduated in the UK within the past 10 years were likely to have the greatest knowledge of, and most positive attitudes towards AIDS.