The frequency, the microbiology and clinical features of AIDS-related primary episodes and relapses of cryptococcosis, before and after the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), were compared. The study covered 58 cases diagnosed before the introduction of HAART, and eight episodes since 1997. Because of negative cultures, we sought a sensitive laboratory assay such as detection of polysaccharide antigen. Despite later diagnosis, there was reduced disease mortality. Clinical suspicion for HIV-associated cryptococcosis should be maintained in immunocompromised subjects. The introduction of HAART has led to significant clinical and laboratory changes of HIV-related cryptococcosis.