Within these bodily fluids, HIV is present as both free virus particles and virus within infected immune cells.
HIV infects vital cells in the human immune system such as helper T cells (specifically CD4 Lentiviruses have many morphologies and biological properties in common.
Three of these genes, gag, pol, and env, contain information needed to make the structural proteins for new virus particles.
For example, env codes for a protein called gp160 that is cut in two by a cellular protease to form gp120 and gp41.
The HIV virus can remain dormant in the human body for up to ten years after primary infection; during this period the virus does not cause symptoms.