Since the introduction of cART (combination antiretroviral therapy), HIV has evolved into a chronic disease such that it requires lifelong medical treatment to which patients must adhere. Communication with health care providers is pivotal in supporting patients to adapt to having HIV and adhering to treatment, in order to maintain health and quality of life. Previous research indicates that communication is optimal when it matches patient preferences for information exchange, relationship establishment, and involvement in treatment decisions. The aim of the present study is to explore HIV patient communication preferences as well as patient experiences with their providers (not) matching their preferences. A second aim is to explore provider beliefs about patient preferences and provider views on optimal communication. Data were collected through interviews with 28 patients and 11 providers from two academic hospitals. Results indicate that patient preferences reflect their cognitive, emotional, and practical needs such that patients look to increase their sense of control over their HIV. Patients aim to further increase their sense of control (by proxy) through their relationship with their providers and through their decisional involvement preferences. Providers are well aware of patient communication preferences but do not explicate underlying control needs. Implications for clinical practice are discussed.