HIV inhibitors targeted at the virus-associated reverse transcriptase (RT) can be divided into two groups, depending on whether they are targeted at the substrate or nonsubstrate binding site. To the first group belong the 2',3'-dideoxynucleosides (i.e., DDC, DDI), 3'-azido-2',3'-dideoxynucleosides (i.e., AZT), 3'-fluoro-2',3'-dideoxynucleosides (i.e., FLT), 2',3'-didehydro-2',3'-dideoxynucleosides (i.e., D4C, D4T) and carbocyclic derivatives thereof (i.e., carbovir), 2'-fluoro-ara-2',3'-dideoxynucleosides, 1,3-dioxolane derivatives (i.e., 2',3'-dideoxyl-3'-thiacytidine), oxetanocin analogues and carbocyclic derivatives thereof (i.e., cyclobut-G) and the 9-(2-phosphonylmethoxyethyl)adenine (PMEA) and 9-(3-fluoro-2-phosphonylmethoxypropyl)adenine (FPMPA) derivatives. These compounds need to be phosphorylated intracellularly to their triphosphate forms before they act as competitive inhibitors or alternate substrates (chain terminators) of HIV RT. The second group includes the tetrahydro-imidazo[4,5,l-jk][1,4]-benzodiazepin-2(1H)one (TIBO), 1-[(2-hydroxyethoxy)-methyl]-6-(phenylthio)thymine (HEPT), dipyrido[3,2-b:2',3'-e]-[1,4]diazepin-6-one (nevirapine) and pyridin-2(1H)one derivatives, which interact as such, noncompetitively, with a specific allosteric binding site of HIV-1 RT. Compounds belonging to the two different groups may give rise to synergism which combined, and, likewise, viral resistance to the compounds may arise through different mutations, depending on the nature of the compounds and the group to which they belong.