We report the relationship between hepatitis C virus (HCV) titre, liver histology and HCV genotype in patients with bleeding disorders. One hundred and thirty-two RIBA-2-positive patients, including 56 who were also HIV positive, were identified at our centre. Fifty of these patients, including nine who were HIV infected, underwent percutaneous liver biopsy. Liver histology was assessed using a modified histological activity index (HAI). Qualitative serum HCV PCR was positive in 87 (87%) of the 101 patients tested including 43 of 50 biopsied patients. HCV RNA titres, measured by quantitative PCR, were significantly higher in HIV-positive patients compared with HIV-negative patients (P < 0.05) but were not related to HAI, mean factor concentrate usage, duration of HCV infection or HCV genotype. There was no relationship between HCV genotype and HAI. Qualitative HCV PCR was positive in 30 of 43 liver biopsies tested. Biopsy PCR-positive and -negative cohorts were not distinguished by HAI or serum HCV titre. We conclude that although serum HCV PCR is useful in confirming the presence of HCV infection in patients with bleeding disorders, little meaningful information concerning the severity of the disease can be obtained from serum HCV quantification.