Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections have been characterized by both polyclonal Bcell activation and enhanced responsiveness to B-cell growth factors on one hand and the loss of specific antibody (Ab) responses and refractoriness to the normal signals for B-cell activation on the other. Histopathological studies of lymph node from HIV- and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected individuals have indicated initial follicular hyperplasia and the appearance of large irregular germinal centers that undergo progressive involution concomitant with follicular dendritic-cell (FDC) disruption. During this process, follicular dendritic-cell -enriched lymph-node-cell cultures exhibit increased ability to induce cluster formation (“in vitro germinal centers”), lymphocyte proliferation and antibody production compared to uninfected controls. This paper discusses how enhanced FDC-B-cell interaction within SIV-infected germinal centers may result in a reduced ability to select high-affinity B cells and alter the dynamics of antibodyproducing- cell and memory-cell generation resulting in the observed hyperactivity.