As an increasing number of women become infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), it is important to understand their expectations regarding the health care services they receive. In 1995 a new centre was opened at an academic centre in St Louis, Missouri, to provide comprehensive care to women with HIV. To assist in the Centre's development, we interviewed 50 of 119 enrolled clients (42%) using a survey instrument focusing on what they consider important in their care. In response to open-ended questions, clients most often mentioned wanting a sense of personalized caring and respect by medical staff (n = 28, [56%]), having someone to talk to about problems (n = 28, [56%]), honest answers about their condition (n = 23, [46%]), medical follow-up (n = 21, [42%]), reduced barriers to care (n = 20, [40%]), and education about their condition (n = 15, [30%]). The highest-ranked aspects of care were seeing the doctor, learning about their condition, and being seen in a pleasant environment (92% [n = 46%]). Significant differences were found in some responses when analysed according to race, educational level, and severity of disease. It is important that programmes delivering health care services to women with HIV provide services that take into account their individualized needs. Ideally, this requires incorporation of a multidisciplinary team to provide psychological and social support, patient education, and medical management.