1. Inflammation is an important process, driving the progression of atherosclerosis. Stemming inflammation may be a mechanism to inhibit the progression of this disease. 2. High-density lipoprotein (HDL), a particle inversely related to cardiovascular disease, has been described as having a number of anti-inflammatory functions. It has been shown that HDL inhibits endothelial inflammation in both in vitro and in vivo models, reducing the expression of key cell adhesion molecules. In addition, HDL has been shown to have an effect on the coagulation pathway by inhibiting platelet activation and reducing thrombus formation. Furthermore, by reducing the activation of leucocytes, HDL can inhibit leucocyte recruitment to the endothelium. 3. High-density lipoprotein infusion studies conducted in patients with inflammatory diseases have shown that acute treatment with HDL can effectively inhibit inflammation in vivo. Thus, HDL has been proven to be a potent inhibitor of inflammation, acting on a number of pathways, and this may suggest that HDL could be applied as an anti-inflammatory molecule for a number of diseases. 4. The present review highlights these important studies and reviews data on the anti-inflammatory effects of HDL from in vitro and in vivo studies, in both humans and animal models of atherosclerosis and inflammatory-related diseases.