AIDS normally includes the use of multiple antiretroviral drugs in an attempt to control HIV infection. There are several classes of antiretroviral agents that act on limitations of scientific management pdf stages of the HIV life-cycle. HAART decreases the patient’s total burden of HIV, maintains function of the immune system, and prevents opportunistic infections that often lead to death.
Treatment has been so successful that in many parts of the world, HIV has become a chronic condition in which progression to AIDS is increasingly rare. Anthony Fauci, head of the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has written, “With collective and resolute action now and a steadfast commitment for years to come, an AIDS-free generation is indeed within reach. In the same paper, he noted that an estimated 700,000 lives were saved in 2010 alone by antiretroviral therapy.
As another commentary in The Lancet noted, “Rather than dealing with acute and potentially life-threatening complications, clinicians are now confronted with managing a chronic disease that in the absence of a cure will persist for many decades. The United States Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization recommend offering antiretroviral treatment to all patients with HIV. Because of the complexity of selecting and following a regimen, the potential for side effects, and the importance of taking medications regularly to prevent viral resistance, such organizations emphasize the importance of involving patients in therapy choices and recommend analyzing the risks and the potential benefits.
It was approved by the US FDA in 1987. Subsequently, several more NRTIs were developed but even in combination were unable to suppress the virus for long periods of time and patients still inevitably died. In 1996 by sequential publications in The New England Journal of Medicine by Hammer and colleagues and Gulick and coinvestigators illustrating the substantial benefit of combining 2 NRTIs with a new class of antiretrovirals, protease inhibitors, namely indinavir.
As HAART became widespread, fixed dose combinations were made available to ease the administration. Today multidrug, highly effective regimens are long since the default in ART, which is why they are increasingly called simply ART instead of HAART or cART.