OBJECTIVE To describe the relationship between dietary antioxidant intake and oxidative stress in clinically stable HIV-positive and HIV-negative adults. DESIGN A cross-sectional study. METHODS Average total daily dietary intakes of vitamin C, beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol, selenium, and zinc from foods and nutritional supplements were estimated in noninstitutionalized individuals using the dietary history method. Plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations were measured by high-performance-liquid-chromatography (HPLC) whereas peripheral blood mononuclear cell glutathione (PBMC GSH) concentrations were determined spectrophotometrically by an enzymatic recycling assay. Data were analyzed in multiple linear regression models to investigate these relationships. RESULTS Regression analysis revealed an inverse relationship between selenium intake and plasma MDA in a model that included the five dietary antioxidants ( R 2 = 0.25; p < .02) and with selenium only ( R 2 = 0.19; p < .01). Both models were adjusted for gender, smoking status, and HIV seropositivity. Antioxidant intake was not associated with PBMC GSH ( R 2 = 0.12, p = .36). In univariate analyses, oxidative stress did not significantly differ between clinically stable HIV-positive and healthy HIV-negative study subjects. CONCLUSIONS This is the first study to characterize the relationship between dietary antioxidant intake from food and supplements with oxidative stress. The results suggested dietary selenium intake was strongly and inversely associated with plasma MDA, but dietary antioxidant intakes were not related to PBMC GSH. This study also provides evidence that HIV infection was not specifically associated with oxidative stress among clinically stable individuals.