This prospective study was designed to determine the role of antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies (ANCA) in HIV-infected patients. Immunofluorescence tests (IFT) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) were applied to sera of 199 consecutive outpatients. In the IFT 20% were positive. An atypical ANCA pattern was demonstrated in 67% of these, 33% revealed a perinuclear staining (pANCA). Specific ELISA revealed proteinase 3 (n = 2), myeloperoxidase (n = 1), lysozyme (n = 2), lactoferrin (n = 1), cathepsin G (n = 1), and human leukocyte elastase (HLE, n = 6). The target antigen remained unidentified in 26 patients. Perinuclear ANCA-positive patients showed atypical antigens in eight of 13 cases; all six patients with anti-HLE revealed a pANCA pattern. The antigens of atypical ANCA-positive patients remained unidentified in 21 of 26 (81%) cases. No signs of vasculitis were present in the ANCA-positive patients. ANCA are frequently found in the sera of HIV-positive patients. They bind to a variety of antigens. No correlation was found between ANCA positivity and autoimmune or opportunistic diseases.