HIV and antibodies, HIV viral life cycle, illustration

We’re improving the information on this page. Find out more.


Watercolour and ink on paper illustration of a cross section through an HIV virus particle (bottom right of image). The virus is surrounded by a membrane (light blue; circular shape) and contains viral RNA (yellow ; bottom right) encased by capsid proteins (red; conical shape). Other viral proteins (red and purple) including matrix proteins, reverse transcriptase, integrase, protease, Vif and Tat are also visible. Blood plasma surrounds the virus (yellow and brown; top and left side of image). Several broadly-neutralising antibodies found in the blood plasma (yellow; top left) are seen here binding to three HIV envelope glycoproteins (purple; extend out from the virus and look like trees rooted in the membrane). Width of image is approximately 100 nm.

This image forms part of a series of illustrations which capture HIV at eight different points in the viral life cycle as it infects a cell and replicates.


    Download full size
    Download small (760px)

    Credit: David S. Goodsell, The Scripps Research Institute

    Free to use with attribution

    CC BY


    back to top