As we enter the third decade of the AIDS epidemic, it is apparent that a large number of cancers are more common in people with the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV). Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) remains the second most common tumour in such patients. At the onset of the epidemic, dose-intense combination regimens were used but these were quickly abandoned in favour of dose-modified strategies because of difficulties in tolerating aggressive chemotherapy in the presence of underlying immunosuppression. With the improvements in supportive care including more effective anti-retroviral therapies, colony-stimulating factors and prophylaxis against opportunistic infections, we are returning to the traditional chemotherapeutic approaches similar to those utilised in the non-HIV infected individual including infusional regimens. In this review, we discuss the evidence for choosing particular therapies in patients with AIDS-related NHL.