In October 2010, it will be exactly 25 years ago that the first antiretroviral drug, AZT (zidovudine, 3'-azido-2',3'-dideoxythymidine), was described. It was the first of 25 antiretroviral drugs that in the past 25 years have been formally licensed for clinical use. These antiretroviral drugs fall into seven categories [nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NtRTIs), non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), protease inhibitors (PIs), fusion inhibitors (FIs), co-receptor inhibitors (CRIs) and integrase inhibitors (INIs). The INIs (i.e. raltegravir) represent the most recent advance in the search for effective and selective anti-HIV agents. Combination of several anti-HIV drugs [often referred to as highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)] has drastically altered AIDS from an almost uniformly fatal disease to a chronic manageable one.
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