We have previously described the apparent acquisition by human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) of the multifunctional rep gene of the helper-dependent human parvovirus adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV-2). We report here that HHV-6 is a full helper virus for AAV-2 replication, suggesting a mechanism for transfer of the rep gene between the two viruses by recombination of replicative intermediates. The HHV-6 rep gene cloned under control of the human cytomegalovirus immediate early promoter complemented replication of a rep-deficient AAV-2 genome. In cotransfection experiments with heterologous promoters linked to the CAT reporter gene, HHV-6 rep activated the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) long terminal repeat (LTR) in fibroblast cell lines but not in T-cells. In contrast, AAV-2 rep inhibited HIV LTR activity in both fibroblast and T-cell lines. The effect of HHV-6 and AAV-2 rep genes on the HIV LTR was independent of the NF-kappa B, Sp1, and TATA box elements. These results suggest that HHV-6 Rep is a multifunctional regulatory protein with properties related to, but distinct from, those of AAV-2 Rep.