The replication cycle of HIV
New drugs are rapidly being developed
The drugs interfer with HIV replication at multiple steps as indicated above (integrase inhibitors in developmental stages only). HAART or highly active anti-retroviral therapy with a combination of drugs results in a dramatic reduction in viral levels. HAART coupled with improved treatments of HIV caused secondary infections has dramatically improved survival for HIV infected patients.
Deaths in the United States.
Image courtesy of HIV Insight, Nature 410,966 (01). Used with permission.
HAART increases survival, but does not eliminate the virus. CD4+ T cells maturing in the thymus can be infected and harbor virus indefinately. Virus levels rise rapidly if HAART is discontinued.
Immune function is significantly restored in treated individuals. However, the drug regime is difficult and accompanied by complications that may prevent continued treatments.
RNA viruses rapidly mutate. 10 billion HIV-1 virions are generated daily, with a rate giving one mutation for each new genome of 9,2000 nucleotides per replication cycle. Genomes with every possible mutation and many double mutations are generated daily. The rapidly changing virus makes therapy difficult.
Resistant virus emerges at high frequency.
Therapy is very expensive, and cannot be afforded by most countries with significant numbers of HIV infected people. Providing affordable drugs throughout the world remains a difficult goal for world health.
3 by 5; an international effort to increase the availability of antiretroviral drugs, with a goal of treating 3 million HIV infected people by 2005.
View animations of the HIB lifecycle and descriptions of drug actions, courtesy of CellsAlive. http://www.cellsalive.com/hiv0.htm
Thialand recorded its first AIDS case in 1984, and in 1991 initiated an condom education campaign. The data show a dramatic drop in prevalence in military recruits, a success attributed to the condom education program. Some African countries, hardest hit with AIDS have also shown that promoting safe sex and the use of condoms.
Impacts | Immume response | Immunology and HIV | Treatment | Test yourself
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Monday, April 3, 2000
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