Effective antiretroviral therapy initially resulted in large decreases in hospitalization rates of HIV-infected patients. The goal of this study was to determine whether these gains were being maintained in 2001. A cross-sectional study of hospital admission characteristics during four time periods was performed. All patients receiving care at the HIV clinics of New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell Medical Center (NYPH) in New York City were included. In 1995, 883 outpatients were receiving care for HIV infection at NYPH; this increased to 1990 outpatients by 2001. Demographic and laboratory information was obtained for these outpatients, and diagnoses were recorded for all patients requiring hospitalization on at NYPH during the time periods January 1 through June 30, in 1995, 1997, 1999, and 2001. The incidence of hospital admission declined in all four time periods: 1995 (95 per 100 patient-years [pt-yr]), 1997 (48 per 100 pt-yr), 1999 (38 per 100 pt-yr, p < 0.05), and 2001 (25 per 100 pt-yr). The incidence of bacterial pneumonia and opportunistic infections (OIs) decreased in all four time periods. The median hospitalization were CD4(+) cell count for outpatients increased from 231 (1995) to 364 (2001). Important predictors of hospitalization were CD4(+) < 200, and IVDU as an HIV risk factor. Since 1995 and the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy, continuing increases in CD4(+) cell counts of outpatients has been reflected in persistent declines in hospitalization rates. Large decreases in OIs and pneumonia have been minimally offset by stable rates of hospital admissions for diagnoses such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, and cellulitis.