Bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) virus is a cosmopolitan pestivirus of animals which is associated with diarrhoea, immunosuppression and synergy with other pathogens. This study was conducted to establish the prevalence of anti-BVD virus antibodies in healthy Zambian adults and those with asymptomatic and symptomatic HIV disease. Sera from 1159 adults were tested for anti-BVD virus antibodies using the indirect immunofluorescence test and the confirmatory Western blot. Of the 1159 sera examined, 180 (15.5%) showed significantly elevated titres of anti-BVD antibodies. These included 70 out of 477 (14.7%) HIV-negative healthy adults; 73 out of 480 (15.2%) of HIV-positive asymptomatic individuals; 23 out of 129 (17.8%) HIV-seropositive patients with associated illnesses excluding diarrhoea; and 14 out of 73 (19.2%) of HIV-seropositive patients with chronic diarrhoea. HIV-seropositive patients with chronic diarrhoea or associated illnesses appear to have significantly increased seroprevalence of anti-BVD virus antibodies (P = > 0.01). The mechanism of interaction between BVD virus and HIV infections and the synergistic effects with other opportunistic pathogens in humans requires definition.