AIMS/BACKGROUND: Abnormal blood flow dynamics are believed to contribute to the development of retinal microvascular disease in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In this study, the scanning laser ophthalmoscope (SLO) was used, combined with fluorescein angiography, to measure retinal blood flow indices in HIV seropositive patients. METHODS: Arteriovenous passage time (AVP) and perifoveal capillary blood flow velocity (CFV) were measured in 23 HIV infected patients and 23 control subjects with SLO fluorescein angiography. RESULTS: No significant difference in AVP was found between the two groups. However, CFV was significantly reduced in HIV infected patients (p = 0.013). CONCLUSION: Patients infected with HIV show abnormal haemodynamics at the level of the perifoveal capillaries.