Recent work has illuminated three critical aspects of the cell biology of HIV-1 particle genesis. First, we have come to understand which cellular membranes are selected as platforms for virus particle assembly and how this occurs. Second, an understanding of how the host ESCRT pathway enables virion budding is accruing. Third, it has become apparent that a host inhibitor can block HIV-1 particle release and that antagonism of this inhibitor underlies the ability of HIV and SIV accessory genes to facilitate particle release. Here, I review recent progress in these three areas.