Bacterial respiratory tract infections occur frequently in persons infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and may be caused by a wide variety of pathogens. Pneumonia is the most commonly diagnosed respiratory infection in HIV-infected persons and is more common in those persons than in non-HIV-infected ones. HIV-infected persons have a much higher risk of pneumococcal disease than do noninfected controls, and disease may occur relatively early in the course of HIV infection. While mortality associated with the disease does not seem to be high among HIV-infected persons, there is a higher rate of recurrence of the disease in that population. Risk factors for pneumococcal disease in HIV-infected persons are not well characterized. Though efficacy data are limited, the 23-valent polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine is recommended for use early in the course of HIV infection. There are no data suggesting that HIV-infected persons should be revaccinated routinely. Antiretroviral agents may enhance the immunologic response to the polysaccharide vaccine. Prophylactic antibiotics may have a role in preventing recurrences of severe bacterial respiratory infections, and intravenous immunoglobulin may be useful in preventing serious bacterial infections in HIV-infected children. HIV-infected persons are also at greater risk for serious infections with Haemophilus influenzae than are non-HIV-infected persons. Vaccination against H. influenzae type b (Hib) is recommended for HIV-infected children but not for adults. Antimicrobial drug-resistant strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae and H. influenzae have become more prevalent recently and consequently have impacted on strategies for prevention and treatment of those infections.