HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the body's immune system,
can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) that badly damages the
immune system resulting in an increasing number of opportunistic infections or
other serious illnesses and without treatments the survival rate is about three years.
   The HIV-1 virus contains two copies of a single-stranded RNA genome within a conical
capsid surrounded by a plasma membrane of host-cell origin containing viral envelope
proteins. The RNA genome is 9750 nucleotides long and the virus measure
approximately 120 nm in diameter

photomicrograph of HIV, the envelope and
protein core are clearly visible

            Human Immunodeficiency Virus