The progressive and irreversible destruction of the immune system represents the hallmark of HIV infection. Even though this process is directly related to the infection of CD4 lymphocytes, the destruction of this lymphocyte population observed along infection is not solely due to a direct cytopathic effect elicited by HIV replication. AIDS immune pathogenesis is an extremely complex phenomenon involving different mechanisms which are not fully understood yet. In this article the mechanisms involved in HIV infection and destruction of target cells and the immune response elicited by HIV are analysed. Finally, viral escape mechanisms to host immune response are considered.