Abstract Entry of Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1 (HIV-1) into target cells is mediated by the CD4 receptor and a coreceptor, CCR5 or CXCR4. Maraviroc interferes with HIV entry by binding the CCR5 coreceptor. Virological failure to maraviroc-containing regimens can occur through the emergence of resistance, or through tropism evolution and broadened coreceptor usage. In the latter case, the physiological relevance of minority strains is a major concern. Here we report a retrospective analysis of coreceptor-usage and evolution based on 454-ultra-deep-sequencing of plasma and Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell (PBMC)-derived envelope V3-loops, accounting for coreceptor usage, from a patient who failed a maraviroc-containing regimen through the emergence of X4 strains. The X4 maraviroc-escape variant resulted from recombination between a long time archived proviral sequence from 2003 (5′-portion, including the V3-loop) and the dominant R5 strains circulating in plasma at the time of maraviroc-treatment initiation (3′-portion). Phylogenetic analyses and BEAST modeling highlighted that an early diverse viral quasispecies underwent a severe bottleneck following reinitiation of HAART and repeated IL-2 cycles between 1999 and 2001, leading to the transient outgrowth and archiving of one highly homogeneous X4 population from plasma, and to the expansion in plasma of one PBMC-derived R5 strain. Under maraviroc selective pressure, the early, no longer detectable X4 strains archived in PBMC were partially rescued to provide X4-determinants to the main circulating strain.