A cross-sectional analysis was conducted in Mexico City from September 1989 to March 1996, to determine the prevalence of HIV-related oral manifestations by gender and route of HIV transmission. The diagnosis of HIV-associated oral lesions was based on preestablished criteria. For the statistical analysis chi-squared and Fisher's exact tests were used where appropriate. Odds ratios were calculated as estimates of the relative risks. Control of confounding factors was performed by logistic regression models. Oral lesions were present in 75% of 436 HIV+ patients. Hairy leukoplakia, erythematous and pseudomembranous candidosis, angular cheilitis and oral ulcers were frequently found. Patients who contracted HIV through blood transfusion were more likely to present erythematous candidosis(P=0.005) than subjects who acquired HIV through sexual transmission. Oral ulcers were seen only in men (P=0.02) and in individuals who contracted HIV through sexual transmission (P=0.02). This study brings valuable data in regard to differences in the type and prevalence of HIV-related oral lesions by gender and the risk categories analysed, particularly blood transfusion.