Despite active antiretroviral therapy (ART), community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients and incurs high health costs. Areas covered: This article reviews the most recent publications on bacterial CAP in the HIV-infected population, focusing on epidemiology, prognostic factors, microbial etiology, therapy, and prevention. The data discussed here were mainly obtained from a non-systematic review using Medline, and references from relevant articles. Expert commentary: HIV-infected patients are more susceptible to bacterial CAP. Although ART improves their immune response and has reduced CAP incidence, these patients continue to present increased risk of pneumonia in part because they show altered immunity and because immune activation persists. The risk of CAP in HIV-infected patients and the probability of polymicrobial or atypical infections are inversely associated with the CD4 cell count. Mortality in HIV-infected patients with CAP ranges from 6% to 15% but in well-controlled HIV-infected patients on ART the mortality is low and similar to that seen in HIV-negative individuals. Vaccination and smoking cessation are the two most important preventive strategies for bacterial CAP in well-controlled HIV-infected patients on ART.