Although significant advances have been made in the treatment of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), neither a curative therapy nor a vaccine is available. Protecting practitioners, medical staff members, and patients from infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) remains a particularly important issue. Fortunately, this virus is not readily transmitted in the health care setting. Adequate protection can be accomplished through the strict implementation of universal infection control policies in the treatment of all patients. Understanding these procedures, providing access to necessary equipment and supplies, and monitoring adherence to universal infection control measures will minimize the risk of exposure.