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), the name human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) being subsequently proposed by an international taxonomy committee.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020