The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) preferentially infects cells that express the CD4 molecule, including monocytes and cells of the monocyte lineage. The monocyte-like cell line U937 and monocytes isolated from peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) were infected with HIV-1. Cell surface antigen expression was determined in infected and noninfected cells as was the ability to stimulate in mixed lymphocyte reaction. The CD4 antigen decreased in infected cells U937 and PBL monocytes. MHC class II antigens HLA-DR, HLA-DQ, and HLA-DP increased in HIV-1 infected U937 cells. In infected PBL-derived monocytes, HLA-DR increased, HLA-DQ decreased, and HLA-DP was unchanged. Infected U937 and PBL monocytes were capable of stimulating allogeneic lymphocytes, thus demonstrating retention of the alloantigen presentation function of HIV-1-infected monocytes.