The novel antiretroviral 4′-ethynyl-2-fluoro-2′-deoxyadenosine (EFdA) is a potent nucleoside HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitor (NRTI). Unlike other FDA-approved NRTIs, EFdA contains a 3′-hydroxyl. Pre-steady-state kinetics showed RT preferred incorporating EFdA-TP over native dATP. Moreover, RT slowly inserted nucleotides past an EFdA-terminated primer, resulting in delayed chain termination with unaffected fidelity. This is distinct from KP1212, another 3′-hydroxyl-containing RT inhibitor considered to promote viral lethal mutagenesis. New mechanistic features of RT inhibition by EFdA are revealed.