Little is known about long-lasting measles protective immunity when exposure to wild-type or vaccine measles virus precedes HIV infection. The results obtained suggest that measles immunity wanes and the lowest measles geometric mean titres (GMT) were significantly associated with measles vaccine-induced immunity in individuals that later developed HIV infection (86% prevalence, GMT 164 mIU/ml) compared to naturally induced immunity in HIV-infected adults (100% prevalence, GMT 340 mIU/ml, P = 0·0082) or non-HIV infected adults (100%, GMT 724 mIU/ml, P = 0·0001), and vaccine-induced immunity in non-HIV-infected adults (100%, GMT 347 mIU/ml, P = 0·017). The study was conducted in an area without wild-type virus circulation since 2000. The absence of virus circulating may alter the paradigm of lifelong immunity to measles virus after vaccination. As the proportion of HIV-infected individuals possessing only vaccine-induced immunity continues to grow, checking the status of measles immunity in this group is strongly recommended.