Macaque immunization with a mixture of four SIV peptides from conserved hydrophilic envelope regions has been shown to prevent virus persistence following challenge with SIVmne/E11s. Data shown here demonstrate that lymph node cells from all vaccinated monkeys and peripheral blood lymphocytes from one of the vaccinees were positive in a SIV-pol 'nested' polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification analysis. However, by 37 months after infection, all immunized monkeys were healthy while two of three controls had died and the remaining animal was virus culture-positive and had declining CD4+ lymphocytes. Viable lymph node cells and peripheral lymphoid cells in blood were transferred from the three immunized macaques to individual susceptible macaques. As a control for the transfer, one of the vaccine experiment controls that was actively producing virus in its peripheral blood was used. None of the recipients of cells from the vaccinated macaques seroconverted and all were virus coculture- and PCR-negative 25 weeks post-transfer (p.t.). The recipient of cells from the control infected macaque became positive in these tests by 2-3 weeks p.t. These results suggest that, while peptide-vaccinated macaques permitted some level of SIV replication following challenge, the vaccine prevented disease progression and virus transmission.