Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) prototype, HIV1 LAV, and a Zairian virus HIV1 NDK, an isolate highly cytopathic for CD4+ lymphocytes, were used to infect eleven different CD4 negative non-lymphoid human cell lines. Eight of the lines were derived from carcinomas wherein human papillomavirus was thought to have been etiologic. All these cell lines lacked CD4 receptor and CD4 specific mRNA. After cocultivation with sensitive CEM cells, HIV-1 LAV was rescued from six infected cell lines and HIV-1 NDK from nine. Shedding of free virus into the culture medium was observed in three cell lines infected by HIV-1 NDK and in only one cell line infected by HIV-1 LAV. The infectibility of CD4 negative cell lines indicates that both HIV-1 strains were able to use a CD4 independent mechanism to infect the cells; however, HIV-1 NDK showed the higher efficiency of infection. This virus was also able to overcome the intracellular block of viral reproduction. These results suggest that a broader spectrum of cell types of non-lymphoid origin lacking the CD4 receptor can serve as a viral reservoir. In some cases they are direct producers of infectious HIV-1 particles. This suggests, that in addition to immunosuppressive mechanisms, HIV-1 could play a more direct role in induction of neoplastic changes.