We describe a new protocol for extraction of DNA suitable for HIV1 gene amplification from clinical samples using "Chelex-100" chelating resin. Comparison was made with the classic proteinase K extraction method; 154 specimens were extracted with both methods and subjected to PCR (polymerase chain reaction). The Chelex-100 procedure optimized the yield of DNA recovery and minimized contamination due to sample manipulation. It decreased false negative results due to PCR inhibitors. A DNA sample suitable for use in PCR was obtained in 30 minutes. Chelex-100 treatment is a simple, rapid and low-cost method for DNA extraction in clinical laboratories.