Illustration of HIV. The human immunodeficiency virus is the virus that causes AIDS. It is a retrovirus, meaning that this virus has reverse transcriptase. It's genetic informations are carried via RNA. It has a shell on which different proteins are carried. These prominences are visible here, they are called gp41 and gp120. With these proteins the virus attaches to coreceptor and receptors of the host cell (CR4, R5, CXCR4, CCR5).