Activation of naive CD8 T cells in vivo requires the recognition of cognate peptide-MHC complexes on APCs. Depending upon the activation status of the APC, such recognition will promote either a vigorous immune response or T cell tolerance and deletion. Recent studies suggest that the initial signals provided by APCs are sufficient to program the proliferation of naive CD8 T cells and their differentiation into effector cells. In this study, we sought to determine whether an initial encounter with tolerogenic APCs was sufficient to program deletion of naive CD8 T cells. Surprisingly, we find that regardless of whether naive CD8 T cells were stimulated by activated or quiescent APCs, transfer of the activated T cells into an Ag-free host was sufficient to ensure survival. Thus, although the extent of clonal expansion and development of effector function is determined by the activation status of the stimulatory APC, peripheral clonal deletion requires persistent Ag and is not determined by the initial stimulatory event.