Viral vectors provide a convenient means to deliver vaccine antigens to select target cells or tissues. A broad spectrum of replicating and non-replicating vectors is available. An appropriate choice for select applications will depend on the biology of the infectious agent targeted, as well as factors such as whether the vaccine is intended to prevent infection or boost immunity in already infected individuals, prior exposure of the target population to the vector, safety, and the number and size of gene inserts needed. Here several viral vectors under development as HIV/AIDS vaccines are reviewed. A vaccine strategy based on initial priming with a replicating vector to enlist the innate immune system, target mucosal inductive sites, and prime both cellular and humoral systemic and mucosal immune responses is proposed. Subsequently, boosting with a replicating or non-replicating vector and/or protein subunits could lead to induction of necessary levels of protective immunity.