OBJECTIVE: Determine the prevalence of metabolic abnormalities (MA) and estimate the 10-year risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) among Latin American HIV-infected patients receiving highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART). METHODS: A cohort study to evaluate MA and treatment practices to reduce CVD has been conducted in seven Latin American countries. Adult HIV-infected patients with at least one month of HAART were enrolled. Baseline data are presented in this analysis. RESULTS: A total of 4,010 patients were enrolled. Mean age (SD) was 41.9 (10) years; median duration of HAART was 35 (IQR: 10-51) months, 44% received protease inhibitors. The prevalence of dyslipidemia and metabolic syndrome was 80.2% and 20.2%, respectively. The overall 10-year risk of CVD, as measured by the Framingham risk score (FRF), was 10.4 (24.7). Longer exposure to HAART was documented in patients with dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus. The FRF score increased with duration of HAART. Male patients had more dyslipidemia, high blood pressure, smoking habit and higher 10-year CVD than females. CONCLUSIONS: Traditional risk factors for CVD are prevalent in this setting leading to intermediate 10-year risk of CVD. Modification of these risk factors through education and intervention programs are needed to reduce CVD.