Aids is curable?


Monday, June 05, 2006

HIV/AIDS Treatment

Over the past 10 years, several drugs to fight both the HIV infection and its associated infections and cancers have become available.
Reverse transcriptase inhibitors: They interrupt the virus from making copies of itself. These drugs are AZT (zidovudine [Retrovir]), ddC (zalcitabine [Hivid], dideoxyinosine), d4T (stavudine [Zerit]), and 3TC (lamivudine [Epivir]). These drugs may slow the spread of HIV in the body and delay the onset of opportunistic infections.
Nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIS): These medications are used in combination with other drugs to help keep the virus from multiplying. Examples of NNRTIS are delavirdine (Rescriptor) and nevirapine (Viramune).
Protease inhibitors: These medications interrupt virus replication at a later step in its life cycle. These include ritonavir (Norvir), a lopinavir and ritonavir combination (Kaletra), saquinavir (Invirase), indinavir sulphate (Crixivan), amprenavir (Agenerase), and nelfinavir (Viracept). Using both classes of drugs reduces the chances of developing resistance in the virus.
Fusion inhibitors: This is the newest class of anti-HIV drugs. The first drug of this class (enfuvirtide [Fuzeon]) has recently been approved in the United States. Fusion inhibitors block HIV from entering the human immune cell.
The antiretroviral viral drugs do not cure people of HIV infection or AIDS. They stop viral replication and delay the development of AIDS. However, they also have side effects that can be severe. They include decrease of red or white blood cells, inflammation of the pancreas, and painful nerve damage. Other complications are enlarged liver and fatty liver, which may result in liver failure and death.
The common side effects from protease inhibitors include nausea, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal symptoms. These drugs can interact with other drugs and result in serious side effects.
Presently, a combination of several drugs called highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is used to treat people with HIV. This treatment is not a cure. The virus still persists in various body sites, such as in the lymph glands.
People infected with HIV are prone to opportunistic infections. Various drugs are available to treat these infectious complications. These drugs include foscarnet sodium (Foscavir) and ganciclovir (Cytovene, Vitrasert) to treat cytomegalovirus eye infection, fluconazole (Diflucan) to treat yeast infections, and trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra) to treat Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia.
Treatments for Kaposi sarcoma or other cancers include radiation, chemotherapy, and injections of alpha-interferon.



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