General practitioners play an important role in counselling for HIV-Tests. There is little known yet about the background of the decision process which results in doing the HIV-test. The EUROSENTINEL-study on requests for HIV-testing started in 1990 and is in the meanwhile carried out in 7 sentinel-networks in six european countries. In the beginning of 1991 the german part started in 36 practices in the north of Hessia. In the first year of the study these 36 practices recorded 327 consultations about HIV-testing. The initiative to counsel was taken in 64.2% by the patient and in 35.8% by the doctor. In male patients the main reasons for the consultation were heterosexual contacts and administrative or legal reasons. In female patients it were fear of HIV-infection without any risk and professional exposure. In 86.2% of patients the consultation was followed by a HIV-test. Seven Tests (2.5%) were positive. All HIV-positive patients belonged to the classical risk groups. The results are discussed in comparison to those of other european networks. It can be concluded that general practitioners play an important role in primary prevention of HIV-infection and in counselling people who are worried by the AIDS epidemic.