From a series of macrocyclic diamides possessing the disulfide linkage, only SRR-SB3, a compound that complexes with zinc, was found to inhibit human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1; strain IIIB) replication at a concentration of 1.8 to 6.5 micrograms/ml in MT-4, CEM, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells. SRR-SB3 was toxic to MT-4 cells at a concentration of 15.9 micrograms/ml, resulting in a selectivity index of 9 in these cells. This macrolide was also effective against various other HIV-1 strains, including clinical isolates and HIV-1 strains resistant to protease inhibitors and nucleoside and nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. It was also active against various HIV-2 strains, simian immunodeficiency virus (strain MAC251), and Moloney murine sarcoma virus, but not against viruses other than retroviruses. In addition, the compound was found to inhibit chronic HIV-1 infections in vitro. The compound in combination with other antiviral agents, such as zidovudine, zalcitabine, and stavudine, showed an effect that was between additive and synergistic. Time-of-addition experiments indicated that SRR-SB3 acts at a late stage of the HIV-1 replicative cycle.