Nanodrug formulations to enhance HIV drug exposure in lymphoid tissues and cells: clinical significance and potential impact on treatment and eradication of HIV/AIDS

Nanomedicine (Lond). 2016;11(5):545-64. doi: 10.2217/nnm.16.1. Epub 2016 Feb 19.


Although oral combination antiretroviral therapy effectively clears plasma HIV, patients on oral drugs exhibit much lower drug concentrations in lymph nodes than blood. This drug insufficiency is linked to residual HIV in cells of lymph nodes. While nanoformulations improve drug solubility, safety and delivery, most HIV nanoformulations are intended to extend plasma levels. A stable nanodrug combination that transports, delivers and accumulates in lymph nodes is needed to clear HIV in lymphoid tissues. This review discusses limitations of current oral combination antiretroviral therapy and advances in anti-HIV nanoformulations. A 'systems approach' has been proposed to overcome these limitations. This concept has been used to develop nanoformulations for overcoming drug insufficiency, extending cell and tissue exposure and clearing virus for treating HIV/AIDS.

Keywords: HIV; combination antiretroviral therapy; cure for AIDS; long-acting; lymphatic drug insufficiency; nanoformulation; systems approach; targeted drug delivery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / virology
  • Anti-HIV Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Compounding
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • HIV-1 / drug effects
  • HIV-1 / pathogenicity
  • Humans
  • Nanoparticles / therapeutic use*
  • Nanotechnology


  • Anti-HIV Agents