Gammadelta T lymphocytes recognize nonpeptidic microbial antigens without MHC restriction and display both lytic and proliferative responses to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected cells. This innate recognition involves both T Cell Receptor (TCR) and NK-receptor mediated signalling through non-peptidic metabolites and HLA class I down-regulation. We observed that HLA-masking and nonpeptidic phosphoantigens induce the expression of CD25 and CD69 activation markers on the surface of gammadelta T cells. Interestingly, CD94+ cell depletion by magnetic beads showed that the expression of this antigen is essential for Vdelta2 T cell activation by HLA-masking. Moreover, both phosphoantigen-stimulation and in vitro HIV infection resulted in marked Vgamma9Vdelta2 T cell expansion, whereas HLA-masking was unable to induce proliferative responses. Finally, we observed a relevant hyporesponsiveness to non-peptidic antigens in HIV-infected persons and in cord blood cells from healthy donors when compared to adult PBMC from uninfected donors. Altogether, the reduced ability to naturally recognize the infected cells may contribute to HIV-disease progression and may facilitate maternal transmission of HIV infections.