OBJECTIVE To compare microbial translocation and its biomarkers in HIV-1-infected African and White patients of the Liège AIDS Reference Center. DESIGN The study is based on a cross-sectional dataset of HIV-infected patients treated at the Liège AIDS Reference Center. Groups of white and African patients have been randomly selected to be identical for sex, age and duration of treatment. METHODS sCD14, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), lipopolysaccharide-binding protein (LBP) and routine HIV-follow-up parameters were measured on plasma samples. RESULTS High values of LPS and LBP were observed in both groups of patients without significant difference between them. High values of sCD14 were observed in 53.1% of whites and only in 18.8% of African patients (P = 0.0042). A correlation between LPS and sCD14 was observed in whites but not African patients. CONCLUSION Our observation suggests that factors not related to microbial translocation are responsible for lower sCD14 value in Africans.