Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) including protease inhibitors (PIs) has been independently associated with an abnormal lipid profile, and recent studies have shown an increased risk of cardiovascular complications in patients with prolonged exposure to HAART. Aim of our open-label, randomized, prospective study is to evaluate the role of different statins in the management of PI-associated hypercholesterolaemia. Ninety-four adult patients on a stable PIbased antiretroviral therapy since at least 12 months, and presenting hypercholesterolaemia (total cholesterol level > 250 mg/dL) of at least 3-month duration and unresponsive to a hypolipidaemic diet and physical exercise, were randomized to a hypolipidaemic treatment with rosuvastatin (10 mg once daily), pravastatin (20 mg once daily) or atorvastatin (10 mg once daily), and were followed-up for 12 months. Among the 85 subjects who completed the study, rosuvastatin was employed in 26 cases, pravastatin in 31, and atorvastatin in 28. At the close of 1-year follow-up, statins led to a mean reduction of 21.2% and 23.6% versus baseline total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, respectively (p=0.002). Mean decrease in total cholesterol concentration was significantly greater with rosuvastatin (25.2%) than with pravastatin (17.6%; p=0.01) and atorvastatin (19.8%; p=0.03). During these 12 months, all administered statins showed a favourable tolerability profile, and patients plasma HIV viral load did not present any variation. All used statins showed a significant efficacy and a good tolerability in the treatment of diet-resistant hyperlipidaemia, but rosuvastatin was found to be more effective in reducing total and LDL cholesterol levels.