Knowing how to treat AIDS can greatly extend your life and improve its quality. Primary treatment for AIDS now involves the use of anti-retroviral drugs. Anti-retroviral drugs are used to slow the progression of the disease. Since there is no cure for AIDS, treatment is aimed at slowing the rate at which the disease replicates and grows. There are seven classes of anti-retroviral drugs available.
- The first methods of treating AIDS were the use of nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). NRTIs were the first anti-retroviral drugs used to treat AIDS. NRTIs work by keeping the virus from replicating. These drugs can be used alone or in combination with other drugs to treat AIDS.
- Nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NtRTIs) also work to prevent the AIDS virus from replicating. NtRTIs also stop the virus from appearing in new cells. NtRTIs that are used to treat AIDS may lead to severe liver damage that could result in death.
- Protease inhibitors (PIs) work by interfering with an enzyme that is responsible for the replication of the HIV virus. These drugs are commonly prescribed in combination with other drugs to treat AIDS. Use of PIs can lead to diabetes.
- Other drugs that are used to treat AIDS are chemokine co-receptor inhibitors, integrase inhibitors, and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. These drugs are prescribed at different stages of the disease's progression.
Although there are experimental treatments available for AIDS, none of them have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Clinical trials are currently ongoing in hopes of finding a cure for AIDS. To date, the best way to treat AIDS is to slow the disease's progression.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/