The invention relates to inhibitory nucleotide signal sequences or "INS" sequences in the genomes of lentiviruses. In particular the invention relates to the AGG motif present in all viral genomes. The AGG motif may have an inhibitory effect on a virus, for example by reducing the levels of, or maintaining low steady-state levels of, viral RNAs in host cells, and inducing and/or maintaining in viral latency. In one aspect, the invention provides vaccines that contain, or are produced from, viral nucleic acids in which the AGG sequences have been mutated. In another aspect, the invention provides methods and compositions for affecting the function of the AGG motif, and methods for identifying other INS sequences in viral genomes.