• Following infection HIV enters the bloodstream and circulates around the body.
  • A protein on the HIV readily binds to a protein called CD4. While this protein occurs on a number of different cells, HIV most frequently attaches to helper T cells.
  • The protein capsid fuses with the cell-surface membrane. The RNA and enzymes of HIV enter the helper T cell.
  • The HIV reverse transcriptase converts the virus's RNA into DNA.
  • The newly made DNA is moved into the helper T cell's nucleus where it is inserted into the cell's DNA.
  • The HIV DNA in the nucleus creates mRNA, using the cell's enzymes. This mRNA contains the instructions for making new viral proteins and the RNA to go into the new HIV.
  • The mRNA passes out of the nucleus through a nuclear pore and uses the cell's protein synthesis mechanisms to make HIV particles.
  • The HIV particles break away from the helper T cell with a piece of…


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