- Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs)
- Nonnucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NNRTIs)
- Protease Inhibitors
- Fusion Inhibitors
- Integrase Inhibitors
- Entry Inhibitors
- Combination medicines
AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is a disease that makes it difficult for the body to fight against infections. AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus known as HIV by infecting and damaging part of the body's defenses against infection - lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cell in the body's immune system that is supposed to fight off invading germs. A person with HIV is called HIV positive (HIV+). There are cells in your blood called "CD4 cells" or "T cells". These cells help protect your body from disease. HIV kills these cells. A person with HIV does not have as many of these cells as a healthy person.
HIV can be transmitted to other person through direct contact with the blood or body fluid of someone who is infected with the virus. That contact usually comes from sharing needles or by having unprotected sex with an infected person. An infant could get HIV from a mother who is infected
There are medicines that can treat HIV and help people live longer. HIV/AIDS medicines help to keep the virus from building up in the body. These medicines do not stop patient from spreading HIV. One can still give the disease to someone else.
Pesons infected with HIV may need to take 3 or more different medicines every day. Your doctor will decide which ones are right for you. It is very important to take HIV medicines every day. One should not stop taking medicines without talking to the doctor. Over time, you can get very sick if you do not take your medicines.
A number of medicines are available to treat HIV infection and slow the onset of AIDS, Medicines for HIV/AIDS must be taken and administered properly on a round-the-clock schedule, otherwise the virus can quickly become resistant to that particular mix of medicines. HIV is very adaptable and finds ways to outsmart medical treatments that are not followed properly. This means that if prescribed medicines are not taken at the correct times every day, they will soon fail to keep HIV from reproducing and taking over the body. When that happens, a new regimen will need to be established with different medicines. Again, if this new mix of medicines is not taken correctly, the virus will likely become resistant to it as well and eventually the person will run out of treatment options.
The main treatment for people infected with HIV is Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (also called HAART). HAART medicines help to slow the growth of HIV in the body.
HAART is made up of different kinds of medicines. These are:
The medicines used to treat HIV can sometimes cause side effects. Side effects may be different depending on the person and the kind of medicine. Some people have no side effects. Others can have very bad side effects. Inform your doctor about any side effects you are having, but do not stop taking medicines without talking to your doctor. Your doctor may tell you tips to help you cope with the side effects. The doctor may also decide to have you take different medicines.