Objective: To evaluate dynamics in CD8 T cell expansions during highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Design: Various T cell subsets were isolated from blood and lymph nodes and analysed for T cell receptor (TCR) diversity. Methods: TCR complementarity determining region 3 (CDR3) spectratyping and single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analyses were performed in combination with sequencing to assess clonality of the subsets. Results: Strongly skewed CDR3 patterns in total CD8 cells and the CD8 subsets CD45RO+CD27+ and CD45RO-CD27+ showed substantial dynamics in dominant CDR3 sizes, resulting in relative improvement of CDR3 size diversity in the first months of therapy. During sustained treatment, TCR diversity changed only moderately. SSCP profiles confirmed oligoclonality of TCR CDR3 perturbations. Various dominant CDR3 sizes for CD4 and CD8 T cells present in lymph nodes, but not in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, before the start of therapy emerged in peripheral blood early during therapy. Conclusions: HAART induces substantial changes in CD8 TCR diversity, eventually resulting in improvement of the repertoire. Clonal expansions observed in lymph nodes before therapy were observed in peripheral blood after therapy, suggesting that recirculation of CD4 and CD8 T cells from lymph nodes contributes to the early T cell repopulation. Decreased immune activation and possibly naive T cell regeneration subsequently decreased clonal expansions and perturbations in the CD8 TCR repertoire.