we examined the peripheral auditory system and the auditory brainstem pathway of children with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (aids). one hundred and one children, 51 with aids diagnosis and 50 normal children were evaluated. audiological assessment included immittance measures, pure tone and speech audiometry and auditory brainstem response (abr). the children with aids more frequently had abnormal results than did their matched controls, presenting either peripheral or auditory brainstem impairment. we suggest that aids be considered a risk factor for peripheral and/or auditory brainstem disorders. further research should be carried out to investigate the auditory effects of hiv infection along the auditory pathway.