© 2015 Elsevier Inc. Since HIV-1 has a propensity to integrate into actively expressed genes, transcriptional interference from neighboring host promoters has been proposed to contribute to the establishment and maintenance HIV-1 latency. To gain insights into how endogenous promoters influence HIV-1 transcription we utilized a set of inducible T cell lines and characterized whether there were correlations between expression of endogenous genes, provirus and long terminal repeat architecture. We show that neighboring promoters are active but have minimal impact on HIV-1 transcription, in particular, expression of the endogenous gene did not prevent expression of HIV-1 following induction of latent provirus. We also demonstrate that releasing paused RNAP II by diminishing negative elongation factor (NELF) is sufficient to reactivate transcriptionally repressed HIV-1 provirus regardless of the integration site and orientation of the provirus suggesting that NELF-mediated RNAP II pausing is a common mechanism of maintaining HIV-1 latency.