We performed a retrospective analysis on kidney biopsies of 30 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients. Twenty-two of them received highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Tenofovir containing HAART together with atazanavir, a new protease inhibitor, was administered to three patients. All of them developed acute renal failure. The kidney biopsies of these patients showed an acute interstitial nephritis or a chronic interstitial nephritis with an acute component. Withdrawal of atazanavir and tenofovir resulted in recovery of renal function in all three patients. Acute interstitial nephritis was observed only in 1 of 19 patients without atazanavir or tenofovir treatment. We conclude that acute interstitial nephritis and consecutive acute renal failure is a relevant side effect of atazanavir and tenofovir therapy in HIV-positive patients.