OBJECTIVE: To identify predictors of unemployment among Australian people living with HIV/AIDS. DESIGN: A longitudinal cohort of Australian men living with HIV/AIDS. METHODS: Participants were separated into two groups, currently working versus currently unemployed. The two groups were compared on a range of factors related to physical health, mental health and sociodemographic variables. Each family of variables was reduced to a set of best predictors, and multivariate log binomial regression was used to identify the predictors of unemployment. RESULTS: Unemployment was more likely among those who experienced HIV/AIDS-related illness, scored higher on the Kessler scale of psychological distress and were older. There was a lower likelihood of unemployment among those who had better self-rated health, had been living with HIV/AIDS for a shorter period and who had a tertiary education. CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that unemployment among people living with HIV/AIDS is best understood within a combined social and medical context. Interventions that acknowledge the differences in age and education that contribute to unemployment would improve employment prospects among people living with HIV/AIDS.