Abstract While some examples are known of integrase inhibitors that exhibit potent anti-HIV activity, there are very few cases reported of integrase inhibitors that show significant differences in anti-HIV activity that result from distinctions in cis- and trans-configurations as well as enantiomeric stereostructure. We describe here the design and synthesis of two enantiomeric trans-hydroxycyclopentyl carboxamides which exhibit notable difference in anti-HIV activity. This difference is explained through their binding interactions within the active site of the HIV-1 integrase intasome. The more active enantiomer 3 (EC50 25nM) was relatively stable in human liver microsomes. Kinetic data revealed that its impact on key cytochrome P450 isozymes, as either an inhibitor or an activator, was minor, suggesting a favorable CYP profile.