Advanced HIV-1 infection is commonly associated with progressive immune suppression and the development of cognitive, motor, and behavior disturbances. In its most severe form, it is diagnosed as HIV-1 associated dementia (HAD) and can progress to profound functional disability and death. Despite prodigious efforts to uncover biomarkers of HAD, none can adequately reflect disease onset or progression. Thus, we developed a proteomics platform for HAD biomarker discovery and used it to perform a pilot study on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from HIV-1-infected people with or without HAD. A 2-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) map of a HAD CSF proteome was focused on differentially expressed proteins. 2-DE difference gel electrophoresis (2-D DIGE) analysis showed >90 differences in protein spots of which 20 proteins were identified. Differential expression of 6 proteins was validated by Western blot tests and included vitamin D binding protein, clusterin, gelsolin, complement C3, procollagen C-endopeptidase enhancer 1, and cystatin C. We posit that these proteins, alone or together, are potential HAD biomarkers.