Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the causative agent of AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), a disease which was first described in the United States in the early 1980s. Since its initial discovery, HIV/AIDS has risen to become a global pandemic, with over 30 million infected individuals worldwide.

In collaboration with members of the CHEETAH consortium and the NIGMS Specialized Centers for HIV/AIDS-Related Structural Biology, this project seeks to describe current understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which HIV gains entry to and exits from its target cells, an area of intense investigation by researchers around the globe.

Please note that the animation shown here is a work-in-progress, and will be further updated, refined and augmented over the coming years.  Additional animations will illustrate how antiretroviral drugs impact the life cycle, and how innate immunity can block HIV infection.

The HIV Life Cycle

How does HIV infection occur? This molecular animation depicts the process of how HIV infects a T cell and transforms the cell into a viral factory.

Click here to view a version of this animation without narration.

Download the HIV Life Cycle animation (narrated version, 523 MB)

Download the HIV Life Cycle animation (music-only version, 523 MB)

Credits:
Animated and narrated by Janet Iwasa (Department of Biochemistry, University of Utah)
Music written and performed by Joshua Roman
Music recorded by Jesse Lewis (Immersive Music Project)