When are antiretroviral drugs (ARDs) used for the treatment of pediatric HIV infection and how effective are they?

Updated: Mar 05, 2020
  • Author: Delia M Rivera, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Antiretroviral (ART) drugs are used for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and for postexposure prophylaxis (PEP). ART monotherapy does not produce sustained clinical benefits, such as improved survival. This failure is partly due to the development of drug-resistant variants of HIV. Resistance develops rapidly during monotherapy, and cross-resistance among related drugs is common.

Combination therapy with ARTs (a strategy analogous to the treatment of TB and other infectious diseases) has improved efficacy, minimized toxicity, and delayed drug resistance.

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