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Antiretroviral Agents

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HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is treated with antiretroviral medicines. These medications function by preventing the virus from proliferating and expanding throughout the body. Antiretroviral drugs fall into multiple types, each of which targets a distinct stage of the HIV life cycle. Here are a few important lessons and instances: Reverse transcriptase inhibitors containing nucleosides (NRTIs): One of the first antiretroviral medications, zidovudine (AZT), was authorized in 1987. It stops the virus from turning its RNA into DNA by interfering with the reverse transcriptase enzyme. Tenofovir (TDF): A popular NRTI that inhibits reverse transcriptase, TDF or its prodrug tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) is frequently used as part of first-line HIV treatment.Reverse transcriptase inhibitors that are non-nucleoside (NNRTIs): Efavirenz: First-line regimens frequently include this NNRTI. Reverse transcriptase is directly bound by it, which stops it from turning RNA into DNA. A second-generation NNRTI called etravirine is prescribed when the virus has grown resistant to first-generation medications. PIs, or protease inhibitors: Ritonavir: Initially created as a protease inhibitor (PI), ritonavir is now more frequently used as a "booster" medication, enhancing the potency of other protease inhibitors by blocking the liver enzymes that would degrade them. Atazanavir: A popular PI that has less adverse effects on metabolism than previous medications in this class.Inhibitors of Integrase Strand Transfer (INSTIs): The first licensed INSTI, raltegravir, functions by preventing the enzyme integrase, which HIV uses to incorporate its genetic information into the DNA of the host cell. Dolutegravir is a second-generation INSTI that frequently forms part of first-line therapy and has a strong barrier to resistance. Inhibitors of Entry: Maraviroc: This medication prevents HIV from infecting CD4 cells by blocking the CCR5 receptor on these cells. It's used with additional antiretrovirals. Inhibitors of Fusion: Enfuvirtide: Because it requires twice-daily injections, its use is restricted. It functions by preventing HIV from entering CD4 cells.Known as combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) or highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), these medications are frequently administered in combination. Reducing the viral load to undetectable levels is the aim of treatment, as this lowers the risk of transmission to others and stops HIV from progressing to AIDS. Adherence to prescribed drug schedules is essential for the efficacy of antiretroviral therapy.