AIDS represents one of the major public health problems of the 21st century. Men having sex with men, injecting drug use and having multiple sexual partners are well-established risk behaviours for transmitting the HIV virus. People with schizophrenia are more likely to engage in these behaviours than the general population and as a result there is an increased prevalence of HIV infection in this group. However, many contemporary mental health policy reports fail to discuss the risk of HIV/AIDS in people with schizophrenia, and there are few specific references to sexual health promotion in these documents. People with schizophrenia should be considered an at-risk population for HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases. Psychiatric research, policy and clinical practice need to develop rapidly to address this important aspect of a major public health problem.