Controversies in Initiating Anti-Retroviral Therapy and in the Use of Combination Therapies
Shortly after the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was isolated and identified as the causative agent of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), hope was raised that antiretroviral drugs would prove of value in slowing or reversing the disease process. Some of the first candidate drugs, however, such as suramin and HPA-23, were quickly shown to have no clinical value, despite their having in vitro antiviral activity. With the development of rapid assay systems to evaluate agents in vitro for their ability to inhibit the action of the key viral enzyme, reverse transcriptase, several nucleoside analogs were identified that have subsequently been shown to have clinically important effects. These include several of the currently licensed drugs, such as zidovudine (ZDV), didanosine (ddI), zalcitabine (ddC) and stavudine (d4T).
KeywordsHuman Immunodeficiency Virus Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Human Immunodeficiency Virus Disease Zidovudine Treatment
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