It is uncertain how often mutations in the connection or RNase H domains of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) emerge with failure of first-line antiretroviral therapy. Full-length RT sequences in plasma obtained pretherapy and at virologic failure were compared in 53 patients on first-line efavirenz-containing regimens from AIDS Clinical Trials Group study A5142. HIV-1 was mostly subtype B (48 of 53). Mutations in the polymerase but not in connection or RNase H domains of RT increased in frequency between pretherapy and failure (K103N, P = 0.001; M184I/V, P = 0.016). Selection of mutations in C-terminal domains of RT is not common with early failure of efavirenz-containing regimens.