Macaques can be protected from intravenous infection with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) by vaccination with chemically inactivated virus. However, protection against infection via a mucosal surface has not been demonstrated. We vaccinated four rhesus macaques with formalin-inactivated SIV given intramuscularly. These monkeys, which had remained virus free for 10 months after intravenous challenge with SIV, were given a further dose of vaccine and together with four unvaccinated controls were challenged intrarectally with SIV. Subsequently, virus was isolated from all control animals on five successive occasions, but the vaccinated animals remained free of virus. Proviral DNA could not be detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from the vaccinated animals. Preliminary data indicate that vaccinated animals make a local antibody response.