Safe and effective lifelong treatment to control human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is one of the greatest scientific and public health achievements of the past century. The majority of infected individuals able to maintain a daily oral regimen now have a normal or near-normal life expectancy. More than 30 approved drugs and dozens of formulations have produced thousands of possible drug combinations used clinically in the past, but today most patients receive only a handful of high priority and rigorously tested regimens. Unique features of antiretroviral therapy include the need for lifelong treatment to control virus replication and the possibility of rapid emergence of permanent drug resistance if these agents are not properly used. Although three-drug combination oral regimens have radically altered the course of this epidemic, the future will include long-acting injectable and implantable drugs and devices to treat and prevent infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)