The utility of the simian immunodeficiency virus of macaques (SIVmac) model of AIDS has been limited by the genetic divergence of the envelope glycoproteins of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and the SIVs. To develop a better AIDS animal model, we have been exploring the infection of rhesus monkeys with chimeric simian/human immunodeficiency viruses (SHIVs) composed of SIVmac239 expressing HIV-1 env and the associated auxiliary HIV-1 genes tat, vpu, and rev. SHIV-89.6, constructed with the HIV-1 env of a cytopathic, macrophage-tropic clone of a patient isolate of HIV-1 (89.6), was previously shown to replicate to a high degree in monkeys during primary infection. However, pathogenic consequences of chronic infection were not evident. We now show that after two serial in vivo passages by intravenous blood inoculation of naive rhesus monkeys, this SHIV (SHIV-89.6P) induced CD4 lymphopenia and an AIDS-like disease with wasting and opportunistic infections. Genetic and serologic evaluation indicated that the reisolated SHIV-89.6P expressed envelope glycoproteins that resembled those of HIV-1. When inoculated into naive rhesus monkeys, SHIV-89.6P caused persistent infection and CD4 lymphopenia. This chimeric virus expressing patient isolate HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins will be valuable as a challenge virus for evaluating HIV-1 envelope-based vaccines and for exploring the genetic determinants of HIV-1 pathogenicity.