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This review summarizes the current knowledge of innate signaling events that are involved in HIV-1 infection. We here focus on dendritic cells, which are among the first cells that encounter HIV-1 after exposure.HIV-1 triggers multiple pattern recognition receptors on dendritic cells that facilitate infection and transmission to T cells. Triggering of the C-type lectin DC-SIGN induces signals that promote HIV-1 replication in dendritic cells and transmission to T cells. Similarly, dendritic cell immunoreceptor has been shown to bind HIV-1 and facilitate transmission to T cells. The cytosolic sensors TRIM5 and cyclophilin A recognize capsid proteins and activate antiviral responses to prevent HIV-1 infection. Moreover, activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) by HIV downregulates autophagy preventing adaptive immune responses.Dendritic cells express an array of pattern recognition receptors that are involved in HIV-1 infection. However, HIV-1 dampens signaling by these receptors leading to suppressed responses or takes advantage of their signaling for its own benefit.