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HIV and the immune system
Disease progression
Monitoring immune health
Symptom observation
Lab studies and blood analysis
CD4 + Testing
Viral Load Testing
Summary: Testing
Intervention against HIV
General health maintenance
Supportive therapies
Antiviral Strategy
Immune modulating strategy
Opportunistic infection strategy
When to start treatment
Available treatments
The Bottom Line

Antiviral Strategy

HIV attacks and misdirects the immune system. Medicines can help slow the spread of the offending virus. The best known antiviral medications are "nucleoside analogue" drugs like AZT, ddI, ddC, d4T, 3TC. More recently, a new class of drugs called "protease inhibitors" has been made available. This includes drugs like saquinavir, indinavir, ritonavir and nelfinavir. The most recent of all are "non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor" (NNRTI) drugs like nevirapine and delavirdine. The challenge of using these drugs is knowing when and how much to use and how to combine them. Used alone, none of these drugs will work for long, but used together in rational combinations, they can suppress HIV for many years and lengthen life.

A complete description of all the antiviral drugs and their use is available in the "Antiviral Strategies Discussion Paper".

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