We have succeeded in stably maintaining the entire genome of SIVmac239 as a plasmid clone. Supercoiled proviral plasmid DNA was inoculated intramuscularly into two adult rhesus macaques and into a neonate. All three animals became viremic and seroconverted. Viral kinetics were followed prospectively by quantitative competitive reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (QC-RT-PCR), measurement of proviral DNA load in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) by PCR, and virus isolation by cocultivation. The infant developed high virus loads and succumbed to AIDS and SIV-associated nephropathy at 10 weeks postinoculation. Both adults are still living but have progressed to AIDS; one adult has also developed severe thrombocytopenia. We conclude that infection through intramuscular inoculation of cloned plasmid DNA encoding the entire proviral genome is reproducible and will provide a useful tool for studying viral pathogenesis.