Twenty-four consecutive HIV-positive patients affected by Toxoplasma gondii encephalitis received trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (cotrimoxazole) as acute-phase treatment. Two dosage regimens of cotrimoxazole were used: 40 mg/kg/day (12 patients) or 120 mg/kg/day (12 patients) of total compound (trimethoprim plus sulfamethoxazole). Clinical and radiological responses to treatment were evaluated, and the product-limit method for survival data analysis was used. Eighteen of 24 patients showed both a clinical and radiological response (75% response rate). There were no differences in response rates between patients receiving the two dosage regimens of cotrimoxazole. Adverse reaction consisted of leukopenia (two cases) and skin rash (three cases) which led to the discontinuation of the drug in one case. These results suggest that a randomized, controlled clinical trial should be carried out comparing cotrimoxazole versus sulfadiazine-pyrimethamine in AIDS patients with Toxoplasma gondii encephalitis.