Eukaryotic translation is a complex process composed of three main steps: initiation, elongation, and termination. During infections by RNA- and DNA-viruses, the eukaryotic translation machinery is used to assure optimal viral protein synthesis. Human immunodeficiency virus type I (HIV-1) uses several non-canonical pathways to translate its own proteins, such as leaky scanning, frameshifting, shunt, and cap-independent mechanisms. Moreover, HIV-1 modulates the host translation machinery by targeting key translation factors and overcomes different cellular obstacles that affect protein translation. In this review, we describe how HIV-1 proteins target several components of the eukaryotic translation machinery, which consequently improves viral translation and replication.