Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) Tax affects cellular genomic stability and senescence. As yet, the mechanism(s) for these events caused by Tax is incompletely understood. Here, we show that Tax expression in primary human cells induces reactive oxygen species (ROS), which elicits DNA damage and the expression of senescence marker. Treatment with a ROS scavenger or knockdown of Tax expression by small interfering RNA (siRNA) abrogated Tax-induced DNA damage and the expression of senescence marker. Our data suggest that ROS induction explains Tax-induced cellular DNA damage and cellular senescence.