Infarction of salivary gland tumors has been reported following fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) and, rarely, as a spontaneous event. Patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) often have salivary gland lesions and FNAC plays a role in the preliminary investigation of such swellings. We report a case of a parotid swelling in a patient infected with HIV where infarction of acinic cell carcinoma following FNAC lead to difficulty in cytological evaluation of the subsequent aspirate. Diagn. Cytopathol. 2003;29:222–224. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.