It is estimated that over 90% of children infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) live in the developing world and particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Pulmonary disease is the most common clinical feature of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in infants and children causing the most morbidity and mortality, and is the primary cause of death in 50% of cases. Children with lung disease are surviving progressively longer because of earlier diagnosis and antiretroviral treatment and, therefore, thoracic manifestations have continued to change and unexpected complications are being encountered. It has been reported that 33% of HIV-positive children have chronic changes on chest radiographs by the age of 4 years. Lymphocytic interstitial pneumonitis is common in the paediatric HIV population and is responsible for 30–40% of pulmonary disease. HIV-positive children also have a higher incidence of pulmonary malignancies, including lymphoma and pulmonary Kaposi sarcoma. Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome is seen after highly active antiretroviral treatment. Complications of pulmonary infections, aspiration and rarely interstitial pneumonitis are also seen. This review focuses on the imaging findings of non-infective chronic pulmonary disease.