Antibodies to HERV-K antigens have been linked to HIV-1 infection and expression of HERV-K proteins generates T-cell cytotoxic responses in many cancers. HERV-K RNA and protein abundance was measured in HIV-1-infected and control cells. In vitro exposure of HIV-1 laboratory-adapted and primary isolates on U87MG cells increased the expression of HERV-K RNA in a dose-dependent manner. HERV-K RNA and protein burdens were significantly increased in HIV-1-producing H9 cell lines compared to 119 cells. The expression of HERV-K was synergistically increased in HIV-1-infected PBMCs after stimulation with PMA/ionomycin. Furthermore, the expression of HERV-K in PBMCs, and particularly in CD4+ T cells, was higher in HIV-1 patients compared to control subjects. The expression of HERV-K might be related to HIV-1 pathogenesis and AIDS-associated cancers.