Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 targets mononuclear phagocytes (MP), which disseminate infection to organs such as brain, spleen and lymph. Thus MP, which include microglia, tissue macrophages and infiltrating monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM), are important target of anti-HIV-1 drug therapy. Most of the currently used antiretroviral drugs are effective in reducing viral loadin the periphery but cannot effectively eradicate infection from tissue reservoirs such as brain MP. HIV-1 infection of the central nervous system can lead to a wide variety of HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorders. In this study, we demonstrate that ritonavir-loaded nanoparticles (RNPs) are effective in inhibiting HIV-1 infection of MDM. Reduced infection is observed in multiple read-out systems including reduction of cytopathic effects, HIV-1 p24 protein secretion and production of progeny virions. Furthermore, the RNPs retained antiretroviral efficacy after being removed from MDM cultures. As HIV-1-infected cells in the brain are likely to survive for a long period of time, both acute and chronic infection paradigms were evaluated. Tat-peptide-conjugated RNPs (Tat-RNP) were effective in both short-term and long-term HIV-1-infected MDM. Importantly, we confirm that delivery of RNPs, both with and without Tat-peptide conjugation, is toxic neither to MDM nor to neural cells, which may be bystander targets of the nanoformulations. In conclusion, Tat-NPs could be a safe and effective way of delivering anti-HIV-1 drugs for controlling viral replication occurring within brain MP.