Little is known about how widely HIV-related drugs are used outside controlled clinical trials. We therefore assessed factors associated with use of antiretroviral (ARV) therapy and primary prophylactic regimens to prevent HIV-associated opportunistic infections. Baseline data from a prospective study from May to August 1994, on 3122 consecutive HIV infected patients with a CD4 count <500 cells/microl, followed in 37 centers from 16 European countries, were analyzed. Two thousand and twenty patients (65%) were receiving at least 1 ARV drug at the time of the study. ARV therapy was more frequently used among patients from southern and central Europe as compared with patients from northern Europe, especially among patients with CD4 counts >200 cells/microl (73%, 57%, and 42%, respectively, p < 0.0001). Of patients on ARV therapy, 34% received open-label combination therapy. This proportion was higher in central Europe compared with other regions (27%, 50%, and 31% for southern, central, and northern Europe, respectively, p < 0.0001). Primary prophylaxis against Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) was used by 85% of patients with a CD4 count <200 cells/microl, without marked regional differences. In patients without esophageal candidiasis or other invasive fungal infections, antifungal drugs were far less frequently used in patients from southern and central Europe compared with patients from northern Europe (10%, 10%, and 25%, respectively, p < 0.0001). Only 5% of patients with a CD4 count <100 cells/microl received rifabutine as primary prophylaxis against nontuberculous mycobacterioses. ARV and antifungal therapies are used differently in different parts of Europe, whereas primary PCP prophylaxis is uniformly administered to most at-risk patients. U.S. recommendations on the use of antimycobacterial prophylaxis have not been implemented in Europe.