The authors describe the impact on different parts of the hospital system of setting up a systemic counseling service for patients who have AIDS/HIV infections. The focus is on the referring consultants, and their health-care teams. The procedure includes a review of the conversations between counselors and referrers, and how these helped to clarify the counseling task. Different views of the role of counseling in the care of patients with AIDS/HIV infections emerged. Explanatations for this are offered. The implications of setting up a new service with a systemic orientation are discussed.