Abstract: The case histories of two children with horizontally acquired HIV infection are described. These children were diagnosed at a paediatric hospital in sub-Saharan Africa. Although the source(s) of infection was not identified, both children had had several contacts with the health service, experienced invasive procedures and ingested expressed milk from their own mothers during hospital admission. Health-care institutions, particularly those located in high HIV prevalence areas, must implement effective infection control measures to ensure that the risk of horizontal infection is minimized. Attention should be given to practices that are unique to each clinical discipline.