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HIV/AIDS Glossary

Provirus

Synonym(s): Proviral DNA

An inactive viral form that has been integrated into the genes of a host cell. For example, when HIV enters a host CD4 cell, HIV RNA is first changed to HIV DNA (provirus). The HIV provirus then gets inserted into the DNA of the CD4 cell. When the CD4 cell replicates, the HIV provirus is passed from one cell generation to the next, ensuring ongoing replication of HIV.

Related Term(s): Integration

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