Therapeutic immunization with autologous monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs) loaded with heat-inactivated autologous human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in 12 patients with chronic HIV-1 infection who were receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) was feasible, safe, and well tolerated. Virus was obtained during an initial interruption of HAART (hereafter, "stop 1") so that DCs could be pulsed. After immunization and a second interruption of HAART (hereafter, "stop 2"), set-point plasma viral load (PVL; 24 weeks after stop 2) decreased > or =0.5 log(10) copies/mL relative to baseline PVL in 4 of 12 patients. We observed a significant lengthening in mean doubling time of PVL rebound and significant decreases in the area under the curve and the mean peak of PVL rebound after stop 2, compared with those after stop 1. This response was associated with changes in HIV-1-specific CD4(+) lymphoproliferative and CD8(+) T cell responses. These changes were not observed in a group of nonimmunized control patients.