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Glossary

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vehicle

The substance or mixture of substances in which the active ingredient in a drug product is prepared. Vehicles are typically liquids in which the active ingredient can be dissolved effectively into a homogeneous solution.  Examples of vehicles are phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), sucrose-phosphate-glutamate (SPG), normal saline and hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC). HEC is a commonly used vehicle for microbicide gels.

viral attachment

The first stage in the HIV life cycle, in which the virus attaches to the host cell.

viral replication

The stages of the HIV life cycle beginning when the genetic material of the virus is copied into DNA using the reverse transcriptase enzyme and ending with the replicated virus being released from the human cell. In the viral replication process, HIV first integrates its genetic material permanently into the host cell, then duplicates itself using the cell's own biological process.

virion

A mature infectious virus particle existing outside a cell.