This is a bibliographical research, aiming to identify and analyze the dissertations about the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and nursing presented in brazilian graduate programs, from 1980 to 2005. 128 studies were selected in on-line and digital data bases, using the descriptors “HIV or AIDS and nursing”. The data analysis was quantitative and through thematic content analysis, according to : year of presentation; graduate programs; area of knowledge; theoretical referential; type of study; field of study; subjects; and thematics. The analysis gives evidence that the majority of the studies were about HIV positive patients in hospital settings, using qualitative approaches. It is concluded that there is a need for more reflections on the methodological approaches and the thematics related at the HIV/AIDS.