AIDS is one of the most pressing medical emergencies of our era. Despite arguments to the contrary, the majority of AIDS researchers have agreed that there is a causal link between HIV infections and AIDS. However, it is now 12 years since the discovery of HIV and we are still a long way from understanding and controlling AIDS. HIV 1 and HIV 2 are guides to studying HIV in the laboratory. HIV 1 describes studies of the virus and infected cells and covers techniques for handling HIV safely, for studying viral entry, replication, and neutralization, and basic immunological techniques. HIV 2 explores the biochemistry and molecular biology of HIV. Methods for cloning and expressing most of the viral proteins are described, plus assays for studying enzyme function in vitro. It also includes a section on recent approaches to drug discovery. HIV research is highly multidisciplinary so a complete compendium of all related methods would have been unreadable. Instead, theses two volumes focus on the specialized techniques which are unique to studies of HIV. The books have been designed so that a novice entering HIV research can find clear instructions about how to perform standard experiments, such as assays for reverse transcriptase or antibodies to HIV. In addition the books include many novel methods which are described in detail for the first time.
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