S-1153 is a new imidazole compound that inhibits human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 (HIV-1) replication by acting as a nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI). This compound inhibits replication of HIV-1 strains that are resistant to nucleoside and nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. S-1153 has a 50% effective concentration in the range of 0.3 to 7 ng/ml for strains with single amino acid substitutions that cause NNRTI resistance, including the Y181C mutant, and also has potent activity against clinical isolates. The emergence of S-1153-resistant variants is slower than that for nevirapine, and S-1153-resistant variants contained at least two amino acid substitutions, including F227L or L234I. S-1153-resistant variants are still sensitive to the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors zidovudine (AZT) and lamivudine. In a mouse and MT-4 (human T-cell line) in vivo HIV replication model, S-1153 and AZT administered orally showed a marked synergy for the inhibition of HIV-1 replication. S-1153 shows a significant accumulation in lymph nodes, where most HIV-1 infection is thought to occur. S-1153 may be an appropriate candidate for two-to three-drug combination therapy for HIV infection.