The Rationale and Development of New Drugs to Treat HIV Infection

Med Chem. 2005 Nov;1(6):635-42. doi: 10.2174/157340605774598199.


Fewer than one million HIV infected individuals are currently receiving antiretroviral therapy. Present antiretroviral therapy costs between 10,000 dollars and 20,000 dollars per year, which provides excellent value for money in developed countries with a cost of about 10,000 dollars per life year saved; this compares very favourably with other therapies in chronic use. Recent studies have demonstrated a dramatic decline in HIV and AIDS related morbidity and mortality across developed countries and these reductions have been sustained since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) since 1996. The use of HAART has been associated with specific toxicities related to the drug class, problems with adherence with the subsequent emergence of viral isolates and resistance associated mutations. The replacement of older therapies with newer drugs that avoid cross resistance even within the same class of antiretroviral, represents a new hope in retroviral targeting.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-HIV Agents / chemical synthesis*
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
  • Drug Design*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • Humans


  • Anti-HIV Agents