BACKGROUND: Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC) is the second most common vaginal infection. HIV-infection is a risk factor for this infection. OBJECTIVE: To determine the frequency of VVC and to describe the main Candida species isolated and their susceptibility to antifungal drugs in HIV-infected patients, compared to HIV-uninfected women in Salvador, Brazil. METHODS: Cross-sectional study including a group of 64 HIV-infected women and 76 uninfected women, followed up at the AIDS reference center and at the Gynecological Clinic of Escola Bahiana de Medicina e Saúde Pública (Salvador, Bahia, Brazil). RESULTS: Frequency of Candida spp. was higher in HIV-infected women (29.7%) than in HIV-uninfected controls (14.5%) (p = 0.02). The odds ratio value for vulvovaginal candidiasis in HIV-infected patients was 2.6 (95% CI: 1.07 - 6.32 p = 0.03). Candida albicans was the most commonly isolated species in both HIV-infected (52.3%) and uninfected women (85.7%), followed by C. parapsolis in 17.6% and 14.3%, respectively. In HIV-infected women, C. glabrata, C. parapsilosis, and a coinfection of C. albicans and C. glabrata were also identified. There was no significant difference between Candida species isolated from the vaginal mucosa of women with VVC and colonization of the vaginal mucosa of HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected women. One C. glabrata isolate from an HIV-infected patient was resistant to fluconazole and other two isolates exhibited a dose-dependent susceptibility. CONCLUSION: Our results confirm a higher frequency of Candida spp. isolated from the vaginal mucosa of HIV-infected women and a broader spectrum of species involved. Only Candida glabrata isolates showed decreased susceptibility to fluconazole.