The factors related to physicians' compliance with universal precautions (UP) were examined. A total of 1,746 hospital employees from areas with low, moderate, and high prevalence rates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) responded to the questionnaire survey. The questionnaires concerned general and personal protective equipment (PPE) compliance, demographics, and job satisfaction. Of the total respondents, 18.4% were physicians. The highest levels of physician compliance, exceeding 92 to 97%, were determined for sharps usage and disposal as well as glove use. The lowest levels of compliance, ranging between 54.6% and 59.9%, were observed for gown use, not recapping needles, and cleaning spills. Overall, physician general compliance was 30.6%, while physician PPE compliance was 38.3%. Compliance was not related to geographical location. General compliance was positively associated with knowledge of alternate HIV transmission modes, HIV attitudes, effectiveness of prevention measures, training hours in UP, and availability of PPE. General compliance was negatively associated with conflict of interests and risk taking behavior. PPE compliance was positively associated with training hours in UP, availability of PPE, and safety climate, and negatively associated with conflict of interests, work stress, and training in PPE use. A significant, negative relationship was determined between general compliance and age. A significant, positive association was observed between PPE compliance and safety climate. Based on stepwise regression analysis, general compliance was significantly related to conflict of interests and effectiveness of prevention, whereas PPE compliance was significantly related to safety climate, UP training hours, and work stress. The authors conclude that the above findings could be applied to the development of an intervention designed to improve compliance. Areas of focus include education, skill advancement, stress reduction, and increased communication between personnel.