What is HIV?

hiv particle

HIV is the retrovirus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

What is a retrovirus?

A retrovirus carries its genetic material in the form of RNA. With the enzyme reverse transcriptase, the viral genome is converted into DNA. This viral DNA then inserts into the host DNA.

Infection:

Damage to the host's cells:

Testing for HIV infection:

Tests detect parts of the HIV particle itself, or host antibodies (triggered by an HIV infection).