IMAT 2020 Q36 [HIV Features]

Which of the following is/are features of HIV?

  1. It has a capsid.
  2. It contains DNA.
  3. It has ribosomes.

A. 1 and 2 only
B. 2 and 3 only
C. 3 only
D. 2 only
E. 1 only

The correct answer is E.


The capsid is the structure that contains the genetic material of the virus, either DNA or RNA. It is made of several protein units, and is present in all viruses.

Its purposes are to serve as a protector of the genome, to allow the virus’ attachment to host cells and to ensure its penetration.


HIV is a retrovirus : it has RNA and uses the host’s cells to convert RNA into DNA, thanks to its reverse transcriptase.

Nowadays, there is no cure for HIV : the only existing treatments help manage the disease. That is why it is imperative to do serology tests before engaging in sexual intercourses with new partners, or to use protection.


Ribosomes are essential structures in protein synthesis : it leads the mRNA that translates the DNA sequence. Because HIV is a retrovirus and thus doesn’t contain any DNA, it does not have ribosomes.