In this study, two glycoproteins (gp160 and gp120) that are encoded by human T-cell lymphoma virus type III (HTLV-III) were the antigens most consistently recognized by antibodies found in patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and with the AIDS-related complex (ARC) and in healthy homosexual males. The techniques used to detect the glycoproteins were radioimmunoprecipitation and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (RIP/SDS-PAGE). Although most antibody-positive samples from ARC patients and from healthy homosexual males also reacted with the virus core protein p24, less than half of the AIDS patients revealed a positive band with p24 under the same conditions. The ability to detect antibodies against a profile of both the major env gene encoded antigens and the gag gene encoded antigens suggests that the RIP/SDS-PAGE may be a valuable confirmatory assay for establishing the presence or absence of antibodies to HTLV-III in human serum samples.