& Answers about Multi-Drug Resistant HIV
In the ten years since effective antiretroviral medications became available,
it has become undeniably evident that successful therapy depends on achieving
complete virus suppression. If antiretroviral therapy is inadequate and
the virus is able to replicate, then drug resistance can develop. Once
drug resistance develops, available medications have a much reduced chance
HIV medications work
HIV medications act to disrupt the HIV life cycle to help prevent HIV
from reproducing. These medications work in different stages of the HIV
life cycle to cover several bases and are used in combination with each
are the different classes of HIV meds that are currently available:
Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NNRTIs) These medications
attach themselves to the reverse transcriptase enzyme so that RNA cannot
make DNA. Sustiva, Viramune and Rescriptor are NNRTIs.
Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs) These medications
replace natural building blocks normally used by HIV to make copies
of itself so that RNA cannot make DNA. Combivir, Emtriva, Epivir, Hivid,
Retrovir, Trizivir, Videx, Videx EC, Zerit and Ziagen are NRTIs.
Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NtRTIs) NtRTIs are
similar to NRTIs but are chemically pre-activated, allowing them to
enter the HIV's DNA more rapidly than NRTIs. Viread is a NtRTI.
Inhibitors (PIs) PIs can stop the protease enzyme from
cutting protein chains to smaller pieces that are needed to coat the
new viral DNA. As a result, these small pieces are incomplete and cannot
infect any other CD-4 cells. Agenerase, Crixivan, Fortovase, Kaletra,
Lexiva, Norvir, Reyataz, and Viracept are PIs.
Inhibitors (FIs) FIs work by blocking HIV from entering
the CD-4 cell. They work outside the cell and inhibit the HIV virus
from joining (fusing) with the CD-4 cell. Fuzeon is a FI.
Inhibitors (IIs) These are a new class of drug that
are becoming more common and will be much used soon. They work by blocking
an enzyme needed to allow the HIV genetic material being integrated
into the human DNA.