We evaluated the presence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and rapid plasma reagin (RPR) among patients admitted to our trauma unit from April 15 to June 30, 1993. Of 984 patients tested, we found 255 (26%) had evidence of exposure to one or more of these agents: HIV, 4%; HBV, 20%; HCV, 14%; and RPR, 1%. Thirty-eight percent of patients had more than one positive serology, 75% of the HIV patients, 49% of the HBV patients, and 66% of the HCV patients. There was no difference between penetrating and nonpenetrating trauma with respect to any of the viruses. The risk factors for HIV-positive patients were non-White race, positive drug screen, positive alcohol screen, and city resident. Risk factors for HBV patients were non-White race, positive drug screen, and city resident. Risk factors for HBC patients were male sex, non-White race, positive alcohol screen, positive drug screen, and city resident. The risk of blood-borne infections in this group of patients is substantial.