The bovine immunodeficiency virus (BIV) was isolated in 1969 from a cow, R-29, with a wasting syndrome suggesting bovine leucosis. The virus, first designated bovine visna-like virus, remained unstudied until HIV was discovered in 1983. Then, it was demonstrated in 1987 that the bovine R-29 isolate was a lentivirus with striking similarity to the human immunodeficieny virus (HIV). Moreover, BIV has the most complex genomic structure among all identified lentiviruses shown by several regulatory/accessory genes encoding proteins, some of which are involved in the regulation of virus gene expression. This manuscript aims to review biological and molecular aspects of BIV, with emphasis on regulatory/accessory viral genes/proteins which are involved in virus expression.