Inhibitory factors to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in saliva may be responsible for the infrequent isolation of virus from saliva and also may account for the marked infrequency of salivary and/or oral transmission of HIV-1. Incubation of HIV-1 with human saliva followed by addition of the mixture to susceptible cells leads to partial or complete suppression of viral replication in vitro. We investigated the inhibitory effects of whole saliva and specific glandular salivas on HIV-1 infectivity as measured by viral-induced cytopathic effects in susceptible cells. Whole saliva contained marked inhibitory activity to HIV-1, strain HTLV-IIIB, and to virus infected cells. Submandibular saliva contained inhibitory activity, but of lesser quantity. Parotid saliva demonstrated no HIV-inhibitory activity. Whole saliva also appeared to contain filterable components that were inhibitory to lymphocyte growth. Passage through a .45 micron pore-size filter eliminated the viral inhibitory activity of submandibular saliva and some of the activity in whole saliva. All salivas except parotid incubated with HIV-1 followed by filtration were inhibitory suggesting that complexing of virus with high molecular weight, submandibular mucins may play a role in viral inhibition.