Despite the use of highly active antiretroviral therapies (HAART), a majority of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV) infected individuals continually develop HIV - Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND), indicating that host inflammatory mediators, in addition to viral proteins, may be contributing to these disorders. Consistent with this notion, we have previously shown that levels of the inflammatory mediator soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L) are elevated in the plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of HIV infected, cognitively impaired individuals, and that excess sCD40L can contribute to blood brain barrier (BBB) permeability in vivo, thereby signifying the importance of this inflammatory mediator in the pathogenesis of HAND. Here we demonstrate that the non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) efavirenz (EFV) induces the release of circulating sCD40L in both HIV infected individuals and in an in vitro suspension of washed human platelets, which are the main source of circulating sCD40L. Additionally, EFV was found to activate glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3β) in platelets, and we now show that valproic acid (VPA), a known GSK3β inhibitor, was able to attenuate the release of sCD40L in HIV infected individuals receiving EFV, and in isolated human platelets. Collectively these results have important implications in determining the pro-inflammatory role that some antiretroviral regimens may have. The use of antiretrovirals remains the best strategy to prevent HIV-associated illnesses, including HAND, however these drugs have clear limitations to this end, and thus, these results underscore the need to develop adjunctive therapies for HAND that can also minimize the undesired negative effects of the antiretrovirals.