Describe the structure of HIV with diagram.


HIV originated in non-human primates and eventually spread to humans over the aeons. Even though the disease had been around for a long time, it was clinically diagnosed in the 1980s. Ever since then, it has spread all over the world, killing over 25 million people till date. This virus has a long incubation period before it starts to attack the immune system (10 years). The immune system is the human body’s natural defence mechanism, hence HIV can make it harder for the patient to fight off infections and diseases. HIV demolishes a particular type of WBC (White Blood Cells) and the T-helper cells. This virus also makes copies of itself inside these cells. T-helper cells are also known as CD4 cells.

HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus abbreviation, the virus’ shape is oval. The virus consists of a capsid nucleus that comprises the genetic material enclosed by a protein envelope. The protein envelope carries many glycoprotein spikes. The outer portion of a glycoprotein called gp120 is connected to the gp41 which is the glycoprotein ‘s inner component. The HIV envelope also includes other proteins including certain Human Leucocyte Antigen(HLA). The HIV genome is composed of two helices of folded RNA molecules. The reverse transcriptase enzymes are present which are responsible for converting the RNA into DNA. Another enzyme called integrase is present which helps to introduce the viral genome into the host cell.

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