This paper describes an approach to prevent HIV-cell fusion by disrupting the interaction between HIV protein gp120 and CD4 receptor. The CD4 residues Phe43 and Arg59 make important interactions with gp120. Small molecule analogues were made to mimic the crucial features of these residues. The analogues were assayed using a cellular 'FIGS' assay to measure inhibition of cell fusion and caused some inhibition. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.