Currently, there is no cure and no preventive vaccine for HIV/AIDS. Combination antiretroviral therapy has dramatically improved treatment, but it has to be taken for a lifetime, has major side effects and is ineffective in patients in whom the virus develops resistance. Nanotechnology is an emerging multidisciplinary field that is revolutionizing medicine in the 21st century. It has a vast potential to radically advance the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS. In this review, we discuss the challenges with the current treatment of the disease and shed light on the remarkable potential of nanotechnology to provide more effective treatment and prevention for HIV/AIDS by advancing antiretroviral therapy, gene therapy, immunotherapy, vaccinology and microbicides.