The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type-1 is a human-specific virus. The lack of a widely available small-animal model has seriously hampered HIV research. In 2004, a new humanised mouse model was reported. It was based on the intrahepatic injection of human CD34+ cord blood cells into newborn, highly immunodeficient mice. These mice develop a lymphoid system of human origin and are highly susceptible to HIV infection and showed disseminated infection, persistent viraemia and characteristic helper CD4+ T-cell loss. Here, we will briefly review the various existing humanised mouse models and highlight their value to the study of HIV infection.