Diarrheal disease has long been recognized as a cause of morbidity and mortality in children in the developing world. Small bowel infections play a major role in this diarrheal disease. With the advent of the AIDS epidemic, diarrheal disease is gaining importance as a syndrome that may severely compromise the quality of life of these patients. In addition, in the past year several dramatic outbreaks of diarrheal disease related to contaminated food or water have occurred. This review examines recent papers that discuss infectious causes of diarrheal disease in AIDS patients, travelers, and individuals who may have been exposed to contaminated food or water, and touches on treatment modalities.