Because candidiasis and cryptococcosis are common in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected persons, the effect of Cryptococcus neoformans and Candida albicans on HIV expression in monocytic cells was examined. Stimulation of the latently HIV-infected myelomonocytic cell line OM-10.1 with C. neoformans and C. albicans in the presence of pooled human serum caused a ratio-dependent increase in HIV production. Induction of HIV by C. neoformans was enhanced by anti-capsular antibody, while induction by both organisms was inhibited by anti-TNF-alpha antibody. In THP-1 cells transfected with HIV plasmid constructs, both organisms induced transcription from the HIV long terminal repeat that was dependent on intact NF-kappaB binding sequences. Thus, C. neoformans and C. albicans enhance HIV expression in monocytic cells through a TNF-alpha- and NF-kappaB-dependent mechanism. In HIV-infected patients, such enhancement may further impair host immunity and could accelerate the course of HIV disease.