Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), simian immunodeficiency virus, and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) are capable of packaging viral RNA derived from heterologous as well as homologous lentiviruses, a phenomenon referred to as "cross packaging." To remove the possibility of seroconversion to HIV proteins, and to avoid potential problems arising due to targeting of vector or packaging construct by antiviral genes, we investigated the feasibility of using an FIV-based packaging system to deliver human immunodeficiency virus type 2 (HIV-2)-based vectors bearing anti-HIV-1 RNA expression cassettes to target cells. In the absence of FIV rev, FIV was packaged by HIV-2 at only 3% the efficiency of FIV packaging by FIV, but this was increased to 39% of homologous controls by supplying FIV rev in trans. HIV-2 vectors were packaged by FIV at levels equal to or exceeding the homologous HIV-2 packaging system in the absence of HIV-1 tat and rev, and levels increased approximately four- to fivefold with the addition of tat and rev in trans. HIV-2 vectors bearing a polyribozyme cassette targeting multiple regions of HIV RNA were efficiently packaged by FIV and transferred to target cells. Upon challenge with cell-free HIV-1 (m.o.i. = 0.1) a significant reduction in replication was observed. These findings demonstrate that packaging HIV vectors with FIV is a viable alternative, which avoids use of HIV structural proteins.