The HIV Life Cycle : Step 2: Reverse Transcription

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The HIV Life Cycle
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Step 2: Reverse Transcription

HIV Life Cycle

HIV's genes are carried in two strands of RNA, while the genetic material of human cells is found in DNA. In order for the virus to infect the cell, a process called "reverse transcription" makes a DNA copy of the virus's RNA.

After the binding process, the viral capsid (the inside of the virus which contains the RNA and important enzymes) is released into the host cell. A viral enzyme called reverse transcriptase makes a DNA copy of the RNA. This new DNA is called "proviral DNA."

Reverse transcription can be blocked by: Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs), and Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NNRTIs).


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Last Revised: November 14, 2008

This content is written by the POZ and AIDSmeds editorial team. For more information, please visit our "About Us" page.

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