One strategy to induce optimal cellular and humoral immune responses following immunization is to use vaccines or adjuvants that target dendritic cells and B cells. Activation of both cell types can be achieved using specific TLR ligands or agonists directed against their cognate receptor. In this study, we compared the ability of the TLR7/8 agonist R-848, which signals only via TLR7 in mice, with CpG oligodeoxynucleotides for their capacity to induce HIV-1 Gag-specific T cell and Ab responses when used as vaccine adjuvants with HIV-1 Gag protein in mice. Injection of R-848 and CpG oligodeoxynucleotides alone enhanced the innate immune responses in vivo as demonstrated by high serum levels of inflammatory cytokines, including IL-12p70 and IFN-alpha, and increased expression of CD80, CD86, and CD40 on CD11c(+) dendritic cells. By contrast, R-848 was a relatively poor adjuvant for inducing primary Th1 or CD8(+) T cell responses when administered with HIV-1 Gag protein. However, when a TLR7/8 agonist structurally and functionally similar to R-848 was conjugated to HIV-1 Gag protein both Th1 and CD8(+) T cells responses were elicited as determined by intracellular cytokine and tetramer staining. Moreover, within the population of HIV-1 Gag-specific CD8(+) CD62(low) cells, approximately 50% of cells expressed CD127, a marker shown to correlate with the capacity to develop into long-term memory cells. Overall, these data provide evidence that TLR7/8 agonists can be effective vaccine adjuvants for eliciting strong primary immune responses with a viral protein in vivo, provided vaccine delivery is optimized.