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A brief review of the Structure and Life cycle of the HIV virus :

LEFT : A schematic representation of the HIV virus.Only the outer viral envelope and the glycoproteins (gp-120) are visible.



The innermost contents of the HIV consists of the genetic material and reverse transcriptase enzymes , which in a sense is the only thing that belongs to the virus itself. The outer coat of Matrix proteins in produced by the Cell which the HIV infects. The outermost covering is the Viral envelope which is derived from the cell membrane of the infected cell when the daughter HIV virions bud out from it.
The glycoproteins present on the outermost layer are the constituents that are most often targeted in making vaccines. A vaccine using the gp-120 glycoprotein  (AIDSVAX) has undergone clinical trials is the US (1998) and is currently undergoing phaseIII trials in Thailand.

Life Cycle :