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J Clin Virol. 2005 Dec;34(4):233-44. Epub 2005 Sep 29.

Basics of the virology of HIV-1 and its replication.

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  • 1Institute of Virology, University of Cologne, Fürst-Pückler Str. 56, D-50935 Cologne, Germany.


Human immunodeficiency virus is undoubtedly the causative agent of AIDS. The understanding of HIV-1 pathogenesis is essential to develop and maintain antiretroviral treatment and vaccination. Since the first isolation of HIV-1 in cell culture, thousands of publications dealing with HIV and/or AIDS per year were released. In this review we give a basic overview of the virology of HIV-1 including the functions of the different HIV-1 proteins required for effective viral replication. Moreover, we summarize the interactive processes between HIV-1 and its target cells. Finally, the HIV-1 specific immune response and the current status of antiretroviral therapy are briefly described in this review.

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