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HIV/AIDS Glossary

Retrovirus

A type of virus that uses RNA as its genetic material. After infecting a cell, a retrovirus uses an enzyme called reverse transcriptase to convert its RNA into DNA. The retrovirus then integrates its viral DNA into the DNA of the host cell, which allows the retrovirus to replicate. HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is a retrovirus.

Related Term(s): Life Cycle

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