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Viral structure
Feb 1, 1999

What is the structure of the HIV virus and how does it work within the body?

Response from Dr. Holodniy

The question is too complex to completely answer on this forum. A brief answer to your question is that it is a RNA retrovirus which contains the enzymes necessary to reproduce in human cells and has a glycoprotein outer covering. The virus enters the body and infects T helper lymphocytes. Once inside these cells it gets into the cell nucleus and integrates into human DNA. It can then begin to replicate in these cells, making more virus to infect more cells, and eventually kills the cell. MH



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