A simple and sensitive method for measuring antibodies to primary human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) isolates has been developed. The flow cytometric immuno-fluorescence assay detects antibodies that bind to the native, oligomeric form of the envelope glycoprotein (gp120) expressed on the surface of PM-1 cells infected with primary isolates of HIV-1. Sera from people infected with HIV-1 or those immunized with recombinant gp120 vaccines were tested. Significant correlation was observed between neutralizing activity and oligomeric gp120 binding activity. Thirteen to 100% of individuals immunized with the subtype B bivalent vaccine AIDSVAX B/B developed oligomeric gp120 binding antibodies against a variety of subtype B primary isolates. For several isolates, AIDSVAX B/B sera reacted better than monovalent AIDSVAX B sera, suggesting that addition of the second immunogen improved the breadth of the antibody response. Cross-subtype binding activities, induced by AIDSVAX B/B, were lower than activities to subtype B isolates, suggesting that additional immunogen(s) may be desirable in vaccine(s) formulated for geographic regions where non-B subtypes are dominant.