HIV-associated nephropathy (HIVAN) is one of the leading causes of ESRD in HIV-1-seropositive patients. Patients typically present with heavy proteinuria and chronic renal failure with pathologic findings of collapsing focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). The disease is caused by direct infection of renal epithelial cells by HIV-1 in a genetically susceptible host. The genetic factors responsible for the susceptibility to HIVAN among blacks include a noncoding variant in the podocyte-expressed gene nonmuscle myosin, heavy chain 9 (MYH9) as well as other genes yet to be identified. Podocyte and tubular dysfunction results from the expression of viral genes, in particular nef and vpr, and the subsequent dysregulation of numerous host factors, including critical signaling pathways, inflammatory mediators, and others. The identification of these factors has the potential to provide novel therapeutic targets to prevent and treat this important disease.