We report two cases and review the characteristics of pyomyositis. The courses of patients who presented with pyomyositis at the Maricopa Medical Center (Phoenix) are detailed. Ninety-eight reported cases over the last 20 years in North America, found through a MEDLINE search, are summarized. Infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may predispose the patient to pyomyositis. The onset is usually insidious with progression to large purulent collections and significant morbidity. The diagnosis is frequently suggested by findings of imaging studies. Staphylococcus aureus is responsible for most cases in tropical areas but is less frequently associated with cases in North America. Since infection with HIV predisposes patients to bacterial infections, pyomyositis will occur more frequently in this patient population. Increased awareness of the disease will improve management. Following aspiration or surgical drainage, therapy with broad-spectrum empirical antibiotics may be considered initially in the treatment of pyomyositis.