We studied the effects of acetyl-L-carnitine on pain in 16 HIV+ patients affected by painful distal symmetrical neuropathy. Patients were treated with 0.5-1 gr per day of acetyl-L-carnitine either i.m. or i.v. for 3 weeks. Pain intensity was measured before and after the treatment by the Huskisson's analogic scale. Ten patients (62.5%) reported an improvement of symptoms, five patients (31.25%) were unchanged, one patient worsened. The results of this open study show that acetyl-L-carnitine can have a role in the treatment of pain in distal symmetrical polyneuropathy related to HIV infection. However, further double-blind, placebo-controlled studies are needed to confirm these preliminary results.