Examination of testing patterns for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in a population is important because it affects interpretation of surveillance data on new HIV diagnoses and can guide the targeting and evaluation of campaigns to encourage appropriate antibody testing. This report describes a relatively inexpensive mechanism of collecting information on who is being tested for HIV in Victoria (other than at the Blood Bank). The annual number of HIV tests performed in Victoria increased steadily throughout the 1980s but the rate of increase slowed in the early 1990s. By 1993, women accounted for almost half of HIV tests, although they made up only 8 per cent of positive tests. There were marked differences in the volume of testing and testing profiles of different laboratories. The information available on personal risk category and the reasons for HIV tests show that many people of low risk are tested, although conclusions are limited by inadequate information elicited or provided by many requesting doctors. For better information on what is occurring with respect to HIV testing, the fundamental requirement is better compliance from requesting doctors in supplying basic information on who they test and why.