HIV -->
human immunodeficiency virus
medical dictionary


<virology> A type of retrovirus (human immunodeficiency virus) that is responsible for the fatal illness acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Two strains have been identified.

Type 1: the retrovirus recognised as the agent that induces AIDS.

Type 2: a virus closely related to HIV-1 that also leads to immune suppression. HIV-2 is not as virulent as HIV-1 and is epidemic only in West Africa.

Acronym: HIV

(11 Nov 1997)