Colonisation and infection by Candida species occur frequently in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), but their relationship to the humoral immunity against candidiasis is controversial. To evaluate the levels of antibodies to Candida in the serum and in the saliva of HIV-1-infected patients in relation to the presence of immunodeficiency, oral candidiasis and Candida colonisation, Candida was investigated in the urine and in the oral and anal mucosae of HIV-1-infected patients, AIDS patients and healthy controls. The levels of IgG, IgM and IgA antibodies to Candida were determined in the serum and in the saliva by immunoassay. Candida species were detected in 76% of the patients. Mucosal yeast colonisation and the levels of serum and saliva antibodies to Candida were similar between asymptomatic HIV-infected and non-infected patients. Mucosal colonisation was highest in AIDS patients, who also had higher serum IgA and saliva IgG antibodies. Antibody levels were similar in patients with and without candidiasis oral lesions. Asymptomatic HIV-infected individuals are similar to non-infected individuals with respect to mucosal colonisation as well as serum and saliva levels of antibodies to Candida. The higher mucosal colonisation and clinical candidiasis observed in the AIDS patients apparently stimulated a more intense humoral response to the yeast.