Using a flow cytometric method, CD4+, CD8+, alpha beta TCR+ and TCR variable region gene product (TVRGP)-specific T cells were analysed in healthy heterosexual males (HHeM), HIV-seronegative homosexual males (SNHM), asymptomatic seropositive homosexual males (ASPH) and homosexual males with AIDS who were either well (AIDS-A), or unwell in hospital (AIDS-B). Total CD4+ and CD8+ T cell numbers were similar in HHeM and SNHM. CD4+ T cells were significantly reduced in ASPH relative to both HHeM and SNHM and in AIDS-A and AIDS-B relative to SNHM. TVRGP-specific T cells expressed as a percentage of TCR alpha beta + cells showed no significant difference in HHeM, SNHM and AIDS-B. The proportion of alpha beta + cells expressing the V beta 5.1, V beta 12 and V alpha 2 gene product (GP) was, however, significantly reduced in ASPH and AIDS-B relative to HHeM, SNHM and AIDS-A. Possible causes of TVRGP-specific T cell deletion are discussed.