Because HIV is a virus, there is less known about the general taxonomic classification of it. As a result, classification of HIV is a little different than other organisms. Recently, the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) classified viruses, to learn more about HIV and other viruses go to the ICTV website.


Order: Virales - HIV is a viral because it is a virus. It is a small microscopic capsule filled with genetic material.

Family: Retroviridae - HIV belongs to the Retroviridae family because it is a retrovirus. This family of viruses contain RNA and reverse transcriptase.

Subfamily: Orthoretrovirinae - HIV belongs to the subfamily of Orthoretrovirinae because it is a virion that is spherical and is a vertebrate virus. It is an RNA tumor virus group.

Genus: Lentivirus - HIV is a Lentivirus because it is a slow virus. It takes a while for the virus to replicate enough to cause symptoms in the host.

Species: Human Immunodeficiancy Virus-  Causes harm to the immune system and causes AIDS.


Phylogenetic Tree:

This oh-so-lovely drawing was made by me