African and Caribbean communities in Canada and other developed countries are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. This qualitative study of African and Caribbean communities in Toronto sought to understand HIV-related stigma, discrimination, denial and fear, and the effects of multiple intersecting factors that influence responses to the disease, prevention practices and access to treatment and support services. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 HIV-positive men and women and focus groups were conducted with 74 men and women whose HIV status was negative or unknown. We identified a range of issues faced by African and Caribbean people that may increase the risk for HIV infection, create obstacles to testing and treatment and lead to isolation of HIV-positive people. Our findings suggest the need for greater sensitivity and knowledge on the part of healthcare providers; more culturally specific support services; community development; greater community awareness; and expanded efforts to tackle housing, poverty, racism and settlement issues.