The page below is a sample from the LabCE course HIV: Structure, Replication, and Detection. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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HIV Envelope

Like many other viruses, HIV has a lipid membrane (envelope) that covers the capsid. This envelope is acquired when the virus leaves a cell after replication.
The HIV envelope has knoblike projections known as spikes, which contain specific chemical components that may assist the virus when it attaches to other cells.