HIV drugs

HIV drugs

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Credit: DR P. MARAZZI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: HIV drugs. Tablets of the antiretroviral drugs nevirapine (white) and tenofovir (blue), used to treat AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). Both belong to a class of drugs known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), which slow the spread of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) in the body by inhibiting reverse transcriptase, the enzyme that converts HIV RNA (ribonucleic acid) into viral DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) that can be incorporated into human cells. If antiretroviral drugs are used alone HIV rapidly develops resistance to them. Therefore, it is recommended that therapy consists of a combinations of three or more antiretrovirals.

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