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HIV/AIDS Glossary

Envelope

Synonym(s): HIV Viral Envelope

The outer coat of HIV, made up of two layers of lipids (fatty molecules). HIV uses protein "spikes" embedded in its envelope to enter host cells.

Related Term(s): Capsid, Enzyme, Glycoprotein, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Ribonucleic Acid

Image(s):

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The HIV envelope is the outer portion of an HIV virion.

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