All decisions affecting the life cycle of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) RNA are executed by ribonucleoprotein complexes (RNPs). HIV-1 RNA cycles through a progression of host RNPs composed of RNA-binding proteins regulating all stages of synthesis, processing, nuclear transport, translation, decay, and co-localization with assembling virions. RNA affinity chromatography is a versatile method to identify RNA-binding proteins to investigate the molecular basis of viral and cellular posttranscriptional control of gene expression. The bait is a HIV-1 RNA motif immobilized on a solid support, typically magnetic or Sepharose beads. The prey is pre-formed RNPs admixed in lysate from cells or concentrated virus particles. The methodology distinguishes high-affinity RNA-protein interactions from low-affinity complexes by increases in ionic strength during progressive elution cycles. Here, we describe RNA affinity chromatography of the 5' untranslated region of HIV-1, obtaining mixtures of high-affinity RNA binding proteins suitable for mass spectrometry and proteome identification.