There are currently 25 drugs belonging to 6 different inhibitor classes approved for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. However, new anti-HIV agents are still needed to confront the emergence of drug resistance and various adverse effects associated with long-term use of antiretroviral therapy. The 21st International Conference on Antiviral Research, held in April 2008 in Montreal, Canada, therefore featured a special session focused on novel targets for HIV therapy. The session included presentations by world-renowned experts in HIV virology and covered a diverse array of potential targets for the development of new classes of HIV therapies. This review contains concise summaries of discussed topics that included Vif-APOBEC3G, LEDGF/p75, TRIM 5alpha, virus assembly and maturation, and Vpu. The described viral and host factors represent some of the most noted examples of recent scientific breakthroughs that are opening unexplored avenues to novel anti-HIV target discovery and validation, and should feed the antiretroviral drug development pipeline in the near future.