This paper examines the transmission dynamics of human immune deficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in the male homosexual population in the U.K. via numerical studies employing a mathematical model representing the principal epidemiological process. The model is based on an assumption of proportionate mixing between different sexual-activity classes (defined by the rate of sexual partner change per unit of time) and incorporates heterogeneity in sexual activity, distributed infection and incubation periods and the recruitment of susceptibles to the sexually active population. The sensitivity of model predictions to various assumptions and parameter assignments is examined. Numerical studies of model behaviour focus on the influence of changes in the magnitudes of the transmission parameters, associated with three periods of infectiousness during the incubation period of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), on the magnitude and duration of the epidemic and on the level of the endemic equilibrium state. Predicted temporal trends in the incidence of AIDS are shown to be particularly sensitive to changes in the intensities and durations of the stages of infectiousness. Most of the paper addresses the influence of changes in sexual behaviour on the magnitude and duration of the epidemic. Numerical simulations show that the manner in which behavioural changes occur and who is influenced by such changes (i.e. infecteds or susceptibles, the sexually active population or new recruits to this population) have a major impact on the future timecourse of the epidemic. The greatest reduction in the incidence of AIDS over the coming decades is induced by changes in the rate of sexual-partner change among the sexually active population, particularly those currently infected. The time periods at which changes in behaviour occur, in relation to the starting point of the epidemic (assumed to be 1979), are also of particular significance to the future pattern of the incidence of disease and infection. Changes in behaviour early on in the timecourse of the epidemic have a much greater impact than equivalent changes at latter time points. On the basis of limited data on the pattern of change in sexual behaviour among the male homosexual community in the U.K., numerical studies of model behaviour tentatively suggest that the epidemic is at, or near to, a period of peak incidence of the disease AIDS. Analyses suggest that, following the peak in incidence, there will be a period of slow decline over many decades provided recent changes in behaviour are maintained in the coming years. The difficulties surrounding model formulation and the prediction of future trends are stressed. Many uncertainties remain concerning parameter assignments and emphasis is placed on the need for better data on patterns of sexual behaviour and changes therein, infectiousness throughout the long and variable incubation period of AIDS and the number of individuals currently infected with HIV-1 in the U.K.