Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV weakens the immune system, which interferes with the body’s ability to fight against diseases.
HIV is a generally believed to be sexually transmitted disease; however, it can also be spread by contact with infected blood or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breast-feeding. Without medication, HIV will eventually weaken the immune system to the point where AIDS develops.
There is no cure for HIV/AIDS, but there are medications that can dramatically slow the progression of the disease and improve a person’s overall health and well-being.
Classes of medications used to manage HIV include:
- Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs): NNRTIs disable a protein needed by HIV to make copies of itself. Examples include efavirenz (Sustiva), etravirine (Intelence) and nevirapine (Viramune).
- Nucleoside or nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs): NRTIs are faulty versions of building blocks that HIV needs to make copies of itself. Examples include Abacavir (Ziagen), and the combination drugs emtricitabine-tenofovir (Truvada), and lamivudine-zidovudine (Combivir).
- Protease inhibitors (PIs): PIs disable protease, another protein that HIV needs to make copies of itself. Examples include atazanavir (Reyataz), darunavir (Prezista), fosamprenavir (Lexiva) and indinavir (Crixivan).
- Entry or fusion inhibitors: These drugs block HIV’s entry into CD4 cells. Examples include enfuvirtide (Fuzeon) and maraviroc (Selzentry)
- Integrase inhibitors: These drugs work by disabling integrase, a protein that HIV uses to insert its genetic material into CD4 cells. Examples include raltegravir (Isentress), elvitegravir (Vitekta) and dolutegravir (Tivicay).
Please speak to your doctor to see which medications are right for you.
Please feel free to contact Kings Pharmacy for additional information regarding HIV/AIDS. Our dedicated staff is here to answer your questions and provide support to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You can also visit the following links for additional resources and information on HIV/AIDS: