Phospholipase A2 (PLA2) proteins affect cellular activation, signal transduction, and possibly innate immunity. A specific secretory PLA2, sPLA2-X, is shown here to neutralize human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) through degradation of the viral membrane. Catalytic function was required for antiviral activity, and the target cells of infection were unaffected. sPLA2-X potently reduced gene transfer of HIV-1 Env-pseudotyped lentivirus vectors and inhibited the replication of both CCR5- and CXCR4-tropic HIV-1 in human CD4+ T cells. Virions resistant to damage by antibody and complement were sensitive to lysis by sPLA2-X, suggesting a novel mechanism of antiviral surveillance independent of the acquired immune system.