We analyzed the data collected during a nationwide survey of cryptococcosis (1985-1993). We first checked the quality of the survey. The stability of its completeness (approximately 50%) and its representativity were assessed by the capture-recapture method after we cross-checked our data on cryptococcosis (as a presenting manifestation of AIDS) against those of the national registry of AIDS. Of the 1,057 cases of cryptococcosis (1,013 patients), 827 (86%) involved patients with AIDS. The increasing number of cases of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related cryptococcosis over time paralleled the AIDS epidemic except for a higher male-to-female ratio. Malignancies (32%), organ transplantation (19%), and corticosteroid therapy (33%) were the main predisposing conditions in 163 patients without AIDS. Cryptococcal meningitis more frequently occurred in patients with AIDS than in HIV-negative patients (P < 10(-6)). Among the 413 isolates available for serotyping, 410 were Cryptococcus neoformans variety neoformans (including 20.5% of serotype D). Three isolates of the variety gattii (serotype B) were recovered from patients without AIDS.