Objectives: To describe current knowledge on the aetiology, pathology, diagnosis, and treatment of HIV associated nephropathy. Methods: A Medline search was performed using the key words "HIV," "nephropathy," "renal," and "kidney." A further search was performed for each of the currently licensed antiretroviral agents linked to key words "renal" or "kidney" and also using the MeSH heading "pharmacokinetics." Results: HIV associated nephropathy is a common complication of HIV in black African and Afro-Caribbean patients and presents with progressive renal failure and heavy proteinuria. As other causes of renal failure are likely to fall in incidence among patients successfully treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), HIV associated nephropathy will become increasingly prominent as a cause of renal impairment in HIV infected patients. Recent evidence suggests that HIV associated nephropathy will respond to HAART with a dramatic improvement in renal function. Conclusion: HIV associated nephropathy is a treatable condition. This condition should be actively sought in HIV infected patients if they are to receive the benefits of therapy.