This thin section transmission electron micrograph (TEM) depicts numerous virions revealed in a preparation of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).
HIV is the virus that can lead to acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS. CDC estimates that about 56,000 people in the United States contracted HIV in 2006.
There are two types of HIV, HIV-1 and HIV-2. In the United States, unless otherwise noted, the term “HIV” primarily refers to HIV-1.
Both types of HIV damage a person’s body by destroying specific blood cells, called CD4+ T cells, which are crucial to helping the body fight diseases.
Credit: CDC/ Maureen Metcalfe, Tom Hodge