Pharmaceutical Approaches to HIV Treatment and Prevention

Burcin Yavuz, Jessica L. Morgan, Laura Showalter, Katti R. Horng, Satya Dandekar, Carolina Herrera, Patricia LiWang, David L. Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection continues to pose a major infectious disease threat worldwide. It is characterized by the depletion of CD4+ T cells, persistent immune activation, and increased susceptibility to secondary infections. Advances in the development of antiretroviral drugs and combination antiretroviral therapy have resulted in a remarkable reduction in HIV-associated morbidity and mortality. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) leads to effective suppression of HIV replication with partial recovery of host immune system and has successfully transformed HIV infection from a fatal disease to a chronic condition. Additionally, antiretroviral drugs have shown promise for prevention in HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis and treatment as prevention. However, ART is unable to cure HIV. Other limitations include drug–drug interactions, drug resistance, cytotoxic side effects, cost, and adherence. Alternative treatment options are being investigated to overcome these challenges including discovery of new molecules with increased anti-viral activity and development of easily administrable drug formulations. In light of the difficulties associated with current HIV treatment measures, and in the continuing absence of a cure, the prevention of new infections has also arisen as a prominent goal among efforts to curtail the worldwide HIV pandemic. In this review, the authors summarize currently available anti-HIV drugs and their combinations for treatment, new molecules under clinical development and prevention methods, and discuss drug delivery formats as well as associated challenges and alternative approaches for the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1800054
JournalAdvanced Therapeutics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • antiretroviral drugs
  • drug delivery
  • HIV prevention
  • HIV treatment
  • pre-exposure prophylaxis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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