It has been shown that the beta (C-C) chemokines macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha/beta (MIP-1alpha/beta) and RANTES, which are released by CD8+ T cells, are potent inhibitors of HIV viral replication in vitro. To investigate whether serum concentrations of these chemokines reflect such a protective effect in vivo, we measured these in peripheral blood of 60 HIV seropositive patients, 10 healthy subjects, and 10 disease controls. Values were compared with the CDC disease stages and immunological surrogate markers of disease progression, such as CD4+ count, beta2-microglobulin and 5'-neopterin serum levels. In addition, HIV RNA was measured in sera. All three chemokines were not significantly different between HIV patients and healthy individuals, nor were differences of chemokine levels between the CDC stages significant. Instead, disease controls exhibited significantly more MIP-1alpha and MIP-1beta than normals or HIV patients. Furthermore, within the HIV-seropositive subjects we did not observe any relationship with the surrogate markers of HIV disease, CD4+ count, CD4+/CD8+ ratio, beta2-microglobulin, and 5'-neopterin (all correlations NS). HIV viral load did not correlate with the measured chemokine concentrations (r < 0.1, NS). In conclusion, endogenous levels of MIP-1alpha, MIP-1beta, and RANTES do not reflect the hypothesized protective effect on disease progression in HIV infection. Thus, despite potential beneficial effects of the investigated chemokines, other factors may equally contribute to HIV replication control in vivo.