Following earlier observations on the snout (SR) and palmomental(PMR) reflexes in AIDS in Tanzania, a series of 1127 adults, 649 HIV-positive and 478 HIV-negative, from 4 groups at different risk of HIV infection were examined neurologically between 1987 and 1992. The prevalence of SR and PMR was calculated according to HIV status, HIV stage, demographic factors and neurologic findings. In the total series of HIV positives the prevalence ranged from SR 39.3% and PMR 22.6% in asymptomatic HIV disease to SR 87% and PMR 69% in terminal AIDS. In HIV negatives the prevalence of SR was 19.2% and PMR 15.3%, and increased with age. There was no relationship with age in the HIV positives and no gender differences. SR and PMR were also associated with neuropathy, myelopathy and AIDS dementia complex independent of HIV stage. This study shows a strong association between SR and PMR and HIV disease in Africa. The prevalence increased with HIV stage and related neurological disorders.