This paper analysed differences in the choice of health-care facility by ill individuals in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)- and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)-affected households in the Free State province of South Africa. Secondary education, access to medical aid and household income were significant determinants of choice as were severity and type of illness, and type of health care required. Ill persons with HIV- and AIDS-related illnesses are significantly more likely to opt for public health care, although the strength of this preference declines as household income increases. Those with severe and particularly severe HIV- and AIDS-related illness, in turn, are significantly more likely to opt for private health care, especially at higher levels of income. The public health care sector therefore is likely to remain the backbone of health-care provision to those infected with and affected by HIV and AIDS, highlighting the need for equitable access to efficient, quality public health services.