New measurements of the dependence of the surface charge on the pH and electrolyte concentration for three living human white blood cell lines that are the principal targets of the HIV-1 virus are reported. Comparison of the electrophoretic fingerprint (EF) pattern, especially the line of zero mobility, with that of reference colloids establishes the separate individual identities and shows that all three exhibit a zwitterionic surface. With the EF results as a guide, preliminary biological infectivity measurements showed that small polyvalent cations modulate the negative charge on the T-cell surface in a way that strongly affects the infection kinetics. H9 cells were exposed to an infectious virus (X4), and the data showed that HIV interaction with target cells is enhanced by physiological fluids. The nondestructive methodology described is generally applicable to characterization of the surface charge and determination of the colloidal stability of any aqueous charged colloidal system without reference to any model of the double layer.