Brain iron deposition was assessed at 1.5 T in the caudate nucleus, globus pallidus and frontal and parieto-occipital white matter in 28 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients and 15 control subjects with a new Partially Refocussed Interleaved Multi-Echo sequence by measuring 1/T2, 1/T2* and 1/T2' (i.e., R2, R2* and R2'). There were significant differences in the R2 and R2* of the caudate nucleus (p < 0.0001 and p < 0.05) and the R2, R2* and R2' of the globus pallidus (p < 0.01, p < 0.005 and p < 0.05) in HIV-infected patients compared to control subjects. There was a trend for higher values of R2, R2* and R2' in the globus pallidus and caudate nucleus in HIV-infected patients with later stage HIV disease. These results suggest that there is greater iron deposition in the basal ganglia of HIV-infected patients compared with control subjects, with a predilection for the globus pallidus. The relationship between iron deposition in the brain and various parameters of severity of HIV infection remains uncertain.