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HIV Treatment

Effective HIV treatment, known as antiretroviral therapy (ART), involves taking a combination of medications that target the virus at different stages of its life cycle. Drug classes used in ART include nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), protease inhibitors (PIs), integrase strand transfer inhibitors (INSTIs), entry inhibitors, and pharmacokinetic enhancers. The treatment goals include suppressing the viral load to

Best medications for HIV Treatment

Drug NameClassRouteStandard DosagePrice
ReyatazProtease InhibitorsOral200, 300, 50, 150 MGfrom$30.77
EvotazProtease InhibitorsOral300-150 MGfrom$1566.89
InviraseProtease InhibitorsOral500 MGfrom$304.59
FuzeonHIV Entry InhibitorsSubcutaneous90 MGfrom$1808.87
IsentressHIV Integrase Strand Transfer InhibitorsOral25, 600, 400, 100 MGfrom$914.77
CrixivanProtease InhibitorsOral200, 400 MGfrom$40.12
PifeltroHIV NNRTIsOral100 MGfrom$1573.64
DelstrigoHIV NRTI / NNRTI CombinationsOral100-300-300 MGfrom$2602.47
NorvirProtease InhibitorsOral80, 100 MG/MLfrom$30.77
EfavirenzHIV NNRTIsOral200, 600, 600-200-300, 600-300-300, 50, 400-300-300 MGfrom$47.23

Introduction

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a viral infection that attacks the immune system, specifically the CD4 cells. Over time, untreated HIV can lead to AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), a condition where the immune system is severely compromised. Fortunately, medical advancements have led to effective treatments for HIV, which can help manage the virus and prevent the progression to AIDS. This article provides an overview of HIV treatment and the various options available.

Antiretroviral Therapy

The cornerstone of HIV treatment is antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART involves taking a combination of medications to suppress the HIV virus and reduce its impact on the immune system. These medications work by inhibiting different stages of the viral life cycle, preventing its replication and spread within the body.

Drug Classes

There are several classes of drugs used in antiretroviral therapy, each targeting HIV in different ways. These include: 1. Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs): These drugs interfere with an enzyme called reverse transcriptase, which HIV uses to convert its RNA into DNA. By inhibiting this process, NRTIs prevent the virus from replicating. 2. Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs): Similar to NRTIs, NNRTIs block reverse transcriptase. However, they do so by binding directly to the enzyme, inactivating its function. 3. Protease inhibitors (PIs): PIs block the action of the protease enzyme, which HIV needs to produce mature viral particles. By inhibiting this enzyme, PIs prevent the production of new infectious HIV particles. 4. Integrase strand transfer inhibitors (INSTIs): INSTIs prevent the integration of viral DNA into the DNA of the host cell. By blocking this step, the virus is unable to establish a long-lasting infection. 5. Entry inhibitors: These medications interfere with the entry of HIV into the CD4 cells, either by blocking the attachment of the virus to the cell surface or by preventing fusion of the viral and cellular membranes. 6. Pharmacokinetic enhancers: These drugs are typically used in combination with other antiretroviral medications to enhance their effectiveness by increasing their concentration in the blood. It's important to note that the specific combination of medications prescribed for HIV treatment will vary depending on various factors, including the individual's immune status, viral load, and potential drug interactions.

Treatment Goals

The primary goal of HIV treatment is to suppress the viral load (the amount of HIV in the blood) to undetectable levels. Achieving and maintaining an undetectable viral load prevents the virus from further damaging the immune system and reduces the risk of transmitting HIV to others. Additionally, HIV treatment aims to: - Increase CD4 cell count: By suppressing viral replication, ART helps restore CD4 cell levels, which are crucial for a healthy immune system. - Improve overall health and quality of life: HIV treatment can help manage symptoms and reduce the risk of complications, allowing individuals to live longer and healthier lives. - Prevent opportunistic infections: Effective HIV treatment lowers the risk of developing opportunistic infections, which are infections that take advantage of a weakened immune system. - Decrease the risk of HIV transmission: When HIV is effectively suppressed, the risk of transmitting the virus to others, including sexual partners and infants, is significantly reduced.

Adherence

To achieve optimal outcomes, it is essential for individuals living with HIV to adhere to their prescribed treatment regimen. Adherence refers to taking medications as directed, following the recommended dosing schedule, and attending regular medical check-ups. Adherence plays a crucial role in preventing drug resistance, maintaining viral suppression