A cross-sectional survey was conducted between November 1986 and January 1988 among 246 homosexual/bisexual patients by consulting physicians promoting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection prevention, to determine factors correlated with HIV infection a few years after the launch of safer sex recommendations. After adjustment for numbers of sexual partners and frequency of unprotected receptive anal intercourse, seropositive subjects, compared to seronegative ones, had significantly higher frequencies of: (1) receptive anal intercourse using condoms and extraneous lubricants, (2) anorectal douching before or after intercourse, (3) past history of syphilis, and (4) nitrite inhalations. The first three factors remained significant after multivariate analysis. Eighty-three percent of the subjects practicing receptive anal intercourse with condoms plus lubricants used inappropriate lubricants. Some factors identified in our study are well established risk factors for homosexually acquired HIV infection, suggesting that safer sex recommendations still are not followed by all. Our results also elicit additional factors that independently increase the risk. Two of them, extraneous lubrication of the condom for anal receptive intercourse and anorectal douching, may result from a misunderstood notion of "safer sex," or from practices thought by mistake to protect against HIV.