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HIV-1 is more virulent and more infective than HIV-2, and is the cause of the majority of HIV infections globally.

The lower infectivity of HIV-2 compared to HIV-1 implies that fewer of those exposed to HIV-2 will be infected per exposure.

This is, in turn, surrounded by the viral envelope, that is composed of the lipid bilayer taken from the membrane of a human host cell when the newly formed virus particle buds from the cell.

Three of these genes, gag, pol, and env, contain information needed to make the structural proteins for new virus particles.

For example, env codes for a protein called gp160 that is cut in two by a cellular protease to form gp120 and gp41.

Within these bodily fluids, HIV is present as both free virus particles and virus within infected immune cells.

HIV infects vital cells in the human immune system such as helper T cells (specifically CD4 Lentiviruses have many morphologies and biological properties in common.

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