The rapid speed with which the Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV is spreading across the globe has engaged the attention of the medical community since the syndrome was first recognised in the year 1981 and the isolation of the causative agent was made in the year 1983.
Numerous scientists worldwide are spending countless hours and enormous energy in order to find out a suitable medication for the cure of the disease.
Though still now there is no absolute cure for AIDS, some treatments are of course available to keep the symptoms under control and improve the living condition of the affected individual to a considerable extent. Many antiviral drugs have been already investigated and some of them have shown positive prospects. It has been found that the molecule azidothymidine has the ability to prolong the life of the HIV positive patients. A number of other immunomodulating molecules like phosphonoformate and interferons are reviewed to find out an effective antiviral therapy for people with the immune deficiency syndrome. But quite unfortunately none of the currently available antiviral therapies can be considered as a monotherapy that can handle the syndrome.
Antiviral Therapy for AIDS
The primary aim of the antiviral therapies is to suppress and reduce the rate of replication of the HIV in the body and combination of a number of antiviral drugs is used for this purpose. This highly active therapy has been found very effective in reducing the virus load in blood that is the number of free HIV particles present in blood. With the antiviral therapy, the T-cell count can also be increased by stopping the virus from rapid replication and increase in the T-cell count means help for the immune system to recover and restore itself from HIV infection.
Though highly active antiviral therapy is no cure for the Immune Deficiency Syndrome, it has been found highly effective to suppress the level and rapid progress of the disease. If the CD4 count of the blood is maintained at a high level (above 200/ cubic mm), it has been found that improvement and significant prolongation of life is possible.
You may Need to Change the Combination
In certain cases it has been found that the Human Immunodeficiency Virus gets resistant to a particular type of combination used in the antiviral therapy and it is more frequent in patients who do not take the medication at the scheduled time or sometimes miss them completely. In that case the patient will have to undergo a generic test in order to find out to which particular group of drugs the HIV strain has become resistant.
This information is also useful to determine the most effective combination for any individual and the drugs can be adjusted accordingly. Normally this test is conducted before the start of the antiviral therapy but if necessary can also be done during any phase of the treatment. It is really important to change the drug combination if HIV becomes resistant to the combination to suppress the resistant strain of the virus and at present a number of antiviral therapeutic drugs are available over the counters for the treatment of drug resistant HIV.