Thirty-three HIV-seronegative adults were recruited into a Phase I safety and immunogenicity HIV-1 vaccine trial. The immunogens were as follows: a synthetic, monovalent, octameric HIV-1 MN V3 peptide in aluminum hydroxide (alum) adjuvant administered by intramuscular delivery; and a similar product encapsulated in biodegradable micro-spheres composed of co-polymers of lactic and glycolic acids, administered by the oral route. These were administered in three sequential oral doses, followed by a parenteral boost. No serious adverse experiences were observed. Oral administration of this vaccine, alone or in combination with parenteral boosting, resulted in no significant humoral, cellular, or mucosal immune responses. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.