In HIV infection, CD4 responses to opportunistic pathogens such as Candida albicans are lost early, but CMV-specific CD4 response persists. Little is currently known about HIV infection of CD4 T cells of different pathogen/antigen specificities. CFSE-labeled PBMCs were stimulated with CMV, tetanus toxoid (TT), and C albicans antigens and subsequently exposed to HIV. HIV infection was monitored by intracellular p24 in CFSElow population. We found that although TT-and C albicans-specific CD4 T cells were permissive, CMV-specific CD4 T cells were highly resistant to both R5 and X4 HIV. Quantification of HIV DNA in CFSElow cells showed a reduction of strong-stop and full-length DNA in CMV-specific cells compared with TT-and C albicans-specific cells. β-Chemokine neutralization enhanced HIV infection in TT-and C albicans-specific cells, whereas HIV infection in CMV-specific cells remained low despite increased entry by β-chemokine neutralization, suggesting postentry HIV restriction by CMV-specific cells. Microarray analysis (Gene Expression Omnibus accession number: GSE42853) revealed distinct transcriptional profiles that involved selective up-regulation of comprehensive innate antiviral genes in CMV-specific cells, whereas TT-and C albicans-specific cells mainly up-regulated Th17 inflammatory response. Our data suggest a mechanism for the persistence of CMV-specific CD4 response and earlier loss of mucosal Th17-associated TT-and C albicans-specific CD4 response in AIDS.