Signs and symptoms of oropharyngeal candidiasis (OPC) were correlated with microbiology and clinical response to fluconazole in a cohort of patients with advanced human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and recurrent OPC. Sixty-four HIV-infected patients with a median CD4 cell count of < 50/mm3 (range, 3-318/mm3) who presented with OPC were enrolled in a longitudinal study. Specimens for cultures were taken weekly until clinical resolution. Therapy with fluconazole was increased weekly as required to a maximum daily dose of 800 mg until resolution of symptoms and oral lesions. Resistant or dose-dependent susceptible yeasts, defined as a minimum inhibitory concentration of > or = 16 micrograms/mL, were detected in 48 (31%) of 155 episodes. Clinical resolution with fluconazole therapy occurred in 107 (100%) of 107 episodes with susceptible yeasts vs. 44 (92%) of 48 episodes with resistant or dose-dependent susceptible strains (P = .008). Patients from whom fluconazole-resistant yeasts were isolated required longer courses of therapy and higher doses of fluconazole for response, but overall, excellent responses to fluconazole were seen in patients with advanced HIV infection.