The insulin-sensitizing drugs thiazolidinediones (TZDs), such as rosiglitazone, improve insulin sensitivity and also promote adipocyte differentiation in vitro. The authors hypothesized that TZDs might be beneficial to patients with HIV disease to improve insulin sensitivity and the distribution of body fat by increasing peripheral fat. The ability of rosiglitazone (8 mg/d) to improve insulin sensitivity (from hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp) and to improve body fat distribution (determined from computed tomography measurements of visceral adipose tissue [VAT] and subcutaneous adipose tissue [SAT]) was determined in 8 HIV-positive patients. Before treatment, the insulin sensitivity of the patients was reduced to approximately 34% of that in control subjects. The rate of glucose disposal during a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp (Rd) was 3.8 +/-.4 (SEM) mg glucose/kg lean body mass/min compared with 11.08 +/- 1.1 (p<.001) in healthy age- and body mass index (BMI)-matched control subjects. After rosiglitazone treatment of 6 to 12 weeks, Rd increased to 5.99 +/-.9 (p=.02), an improvement of 59 +/- 22%. SAT increased by 23 +/- 10% (p=.05), and, surprisingly, VAT was decreased by 21 +/- 8% (p=.04) with a trend for increased SAT/VAT that failed to reach statistical significance. There were no significant changes in blood counts, viral loads, or CD4 counts with rosiglitazone treatment. The study demonstrates that rosiglitazone therapy improves insulin resistance and body fat distribution in some patients with HIV disease.