Three HIV-seropositive subjects presented with diffuse inferior retinal hemorrhages. The first patient had an inferior hemicentral vein occlusion with subsequent development of an inferior cytomegalovirus retinitis. Two other patients had an inferior 'hemorrhagic' cytomegalovirus retinitis mimicking a venous occlusion, with the retinitis being subtle in 1 patient. We speculate that: (1) venous occlusion may predispose to cytomegalovirus infection of the retina by stasis and ischemic loss of endothelium; (2) early cytomegalovirus infection of the large retinal veins may give the picture of a hemorrhagic retinopathy in a subset of patients with cytomegalovirus retinitis. The differential diagnoses of hemorrhagic retinopathy in HIV-seropositive subjects include: cytomegalovirus retinitis, retinal vein occlusion, syphilitic retinitis and retinopathy of severe anemia.