Between 1986 and 2000, 381 Leishmania strains isolated from 288 HIV-positive patients were studied at the international cryobank in Montpellier, France. Most (95.1%) of the strains came from cases of visceral leishmaniasis but 4.9% were from HIV-positives with cutaneous leishmaniasis. The majority of the strains came from patients infected in the Mediterranean region, with a few originating in sub-Saharan Africa and South America. Isoenzymatic characterization revealed 28 zymodemes in four different species: L. infantum (which was predominant), L. donovani, L. major and L. guyanensis. The strains belonging to the L. infantum complex included 20 zymodemes, some of which have so far only been found in cases of Leishmania/HIV co-infection.