Fifty patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome had complications affecting the central or peripheral nervous systems or both. The patients were either male homosexuals, intravenous drug abusers, or recently arrived Haitian refugees. They ranged in age from 25 to 56. Central nervous system complications were of four kinds: (1) Infections included Toxoplasma gondii abscesses in 5 patients, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy in 2, cryptococcal meningitis in 2, Candida albicans in 1, and possible Mycobacterium avium intracellulare in 3. Eighteen patients suffered a subacute encephalitis possibly attributable to cytomegalovirus infection. (2) Tumors consisted of primary lymphoma of the brain in 3 patients and meningeal invasion by systemic lymphoma in 4. (3) Vascular complications included nonbacterial thrombotic endocarditis in 2 patients and cerebral hemorrhages in the setting of thrombocytopenia in 3. (4) Undiagnosed central nervous system problems were evidenced as focal brain lesions in 3 patients and self-limiting aseptic meningitis in 4. Peripheral neuropathy occurred in 8 patients.