Detection of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections has been enhanced by incorporating p24 antigen detection with current HIV antibody detection using enzyme immunoassays (EIAs). However, screening for HIV antibodies has increased through the use of rapid, lateral-flow HIV antibody detection assays that currently do not have the capability to detect HIV p24 antigen. In this report, a lateral-flow based assay using super-paramagnetic particles as the detection marker was developed for the detection of HIV-1 p24 antigen. This magnetic immuno-chromatographic test (MICT) uses an inexpensive, low-maintenance instrument that detects the magnetic moment of the super-paramagnetic particles in a magnetic field. MICT is simple to perform, provides a numerical output for easier determination of reactive results and can be completed in 40min. The lower limit of detection for HIV-1 p24 spiked into assay sample buffer and 50% plasma was 30pg/ml for both. Detection of HIV-1 p24 antigen at 50pg/ml was reproducible in both inter-run and intra-run assays with coefficients of variation of <13%. Furthermore, the MICT p24 assay was able to detect intact virus spiked into 50% plasma (lower detection limit of approximately 250,000 viral RNA copies/ml). MICT detection of increasing HIV-1 p24 levels in commercially available seroconversion panels by MICT was only slightly later than that detected by much more complex EIAs. MICT could provide a simple, low-cost, and portable method for rapid HIV-1 p24 detection in a variety of testing environments.