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The impaired functional activity of cytotoxic T lymphocytes and natural killer cells during HIV-1 infection has recently been attributed to decreased intracellular levels of perforin and granzyme B. In sera from individuals chronically infected with HIV-1 we report increased levels of extracellular perforin compared with uninfected individuals. Increased perforin was also observed during experimental SIV/SHIV infection. The combination of reduced intracellular perforin levels and an increased serum level indicates that HIV infection induces aberrant perforin secretion.