The ability of human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) to establish a persistent infection is critically dependent on the cellular signals that regulate HIV-1 replication within target cells. The balance between numerous host factors that either enhance or suppress viral infection determines the clinical outcome. Perturbation of the steady-state level of viral replication can significantly influence the course and the speed at which the infection develops into clinical disease. Activation signals delivered to T cells by cytokines and antigen-presenting cells (APC), are key modulators of viral replication. Our laboratory seeks to decipher how HIV-1 exploits T cell signaling mechanisms and host factors that regulate viral replication. Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms by which cellular signals regulate the HIV-1 life cycle within target cells will significantly advance our understanding of host-virus interactions.