Pleural empyema due to Salmonella has rarely been reported in immunocompromised patients. Here, we present a case of a 25-year old man infected with the human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) who presented with a left-sided pleural effusion. The cause was confirmed bacteriologically to be due to Salmonella paratyphi. The outcome was favourable after antibiotic therapy coupled with pleural drainage. It should be recognised that pleural empyema due to Salmonella may occur in HIV-infected subjects and we suggest that patients presenting with pleural empyema due to uncommon pathogens be tested for HIV-1 antibodies.