a variable retrovirus that invades and inactivates helper T cells of the immune system
and is a cause of AIDS and AIDS-related complex: variants were identified in several laboratories and independently named lymphadenopathy-associated virus (LAV)
human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 3 (HTLV-3)
and AIDS-related virus (ARV)
human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
being subsequently proposed by an international taxonomy committee.