Telomere length (TL) and immune activation markers were measured in a cohort of HIV-infected (n = 102) and age-matched non-HIV-infected (n = 41) men. TL was significantly shorter in HIV-infected compared with non-HIV-infected subjects (P = 0.04). Univariate analysis revealed a strong inverse relationship of TL to sCD163, and thus, monocyte/macrophage activation, among the HIV group (ρ = -0.30, P = 0.003). In multivariate modeling among the whole group, HIV-positive serostatus (P = 0.06) and sCD163 (P = 0.05) remained predictors of TL controlling for age and smoking status. Our data demonstrate that increased immune activation relates to shorter TL in HIV.