Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Portal

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Classification

ICTV Group: Unassigned
Baltimore Group: Group VI (ssRNA-RT viruses (+)sense RNA with DNA intermediate in life-cycle)
Family: Retroviridae
Genus: Lentivirus
Species: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)


The HIV Controllers Study is a collaboration among scientists, clinicians, health care providers, AIDS support organizations, and patients themselves, who together seek to define the genetic basis of the ability to control HIV without medications. The main performance sites are the Massachusetts General Hospital, The Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, Cambridge MA, Harvard Medical School, and The Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard.

Acute HIV Infection: Implications for Vaccine Design is a detailed and integrated study of HIV-1 pathogenesis to identify the correlates of protective immunity and to guide the rational design of HIV-1 vaccines. The overall goal is to identify genomic regions within HIV-1 that are fundamental to a protective antiviral immune response.

Photo Captions and Credits

The images on the home page are, from left to right:

  1. In this scanning electron micrograph HIV-1 virions (spherical in appearance), which had been co-cultivated with human lymphocytes, can be seen on the surface of a lymphocyte. Courtesy of CDC/ C. Goldsmith, P. Feorino, E. L. Palmer, W. R. McManus
  2. A first-rate representation of an HIV viron. The superficial structure of this model is accurate and consistent with the typical structure of HIV from its variegated lipid surface to its protruding glycoproteins. Courtesy of
  3. This thin-section transmission electron micrograph (TEM) depicted the ultrastructural details of a number of "human immunodeficiency virus" (HIV) virus particles, or virions. Courtesy of CDC/ Dr. A. Harrison; Dr. P. Feorino.
    Photo: Cynthia Goldsmith
  4. A diagram of a HIV virion: The purple and green units are docking proteins in the lipid membrane. The dark blue layer is the protective capsid, while the yellow units are the genetic material of the virus in the form of RNA. The red spots denote the enzyme reverse transcriptase. Courtesy of U.S. National Institutes of Health
  5. This 2007 photograph depicts CDC contractor Amanda McNulty as she was using the UVP Imaging System in order to examine the results of a DNA gel electrophoresis plate. Ms. McNulty is investigating drug resistance to antiretroviral medications in HIV infected persons. Courtesy of CDC; Photo: James Gathany.