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How is AIDS treated?

AIDS is treated with a series of medications such as NNRTIs, NRTIs, Potease Inhibitors, integrase inhibitors and entry or fusion inhibitors.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) invades the cells of the immune system and considerably destroys the body's ability to defend itself from infections. Diagnosis of the condition and appropriate treatment at an early stage prevents further progress of the disease. Most people with HIV infection can lead a normal life, and the treatment is focused on preventing the spread of viral DNA or avoiding the entry of the virus into the immune cells. In advanced stages of HIV infection, the body is incapable of defending any infection. When the immune cell counts in your the become very low and the patient becomes susceptible to infections such as pneumonia or tuberculosis, the condition is called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Our physicians at Cedars Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital provide individualized care to patients with AIDS by managing each symptom and side effects and lowering the risk for infections. The treatment options available for all the stages of AIDS include:

  • Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs): These medications block the protein needed by the virus to copy itself. It essentially stops the processes that the virus utilizes to multiply and kill the immune cells.  
  • Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs):  These medications replace the proteins required by the virus to replicate, and thus prevent the death of the immune cells.
  • Protease inhibitors:  These medications block the protease, a protein required to copy the virus, and thus prevents its growth and multiplication.
  • Entry or fusion inhibitors: These oral medications block the entry of the virus into the immune cells. The virus cannot multiply outside the immune cells.
  • Integrase inhibitors: Integrase is a protein that the virus injects into the DNA of your cells. When DNA cannot enter your cells, the virus is unable to replicate, and thus will not cause the immune cells to die.

Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.

Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/