Current status and prospects of HIV treatment

Curr Opin Virol. 2016 Jun:18:50-6. doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2016.03.004. Epub 2016 Mar 28.


Current antiviral treatments can reduce HIV-associated morbidity, prolong survival, and prevent HIV transmission. Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) containing preferably three active drugs from two or more classes is required for durable virologic suppression. Regimen selection is based on virologic efficacy, potential for adverse effects, pill burden and dosing frequency, drug-drug interaction potential, resistance test results, comorbid conditions, social status, and cost. With prolonged virologic suppression, improved clinical outcomes, and longer survival, patients will be exposed to antiretroviral agents for decades. Therefore, maximizing the safety and tolerability of cART is a high priority. Emergence of resistance and/or lack of tolerability in individual patients require availability of a range of treatment options. Development of new drugs is focused on improving safety (e.g. tenofovir alafenamide) and/or resistance profile (e.g. doravirine) within the existing drug classes, combination therapies with improved adherence (e.g. single-tablet regimens), novel mechanisms of action (e.g. attachment inhibitors, maturation inhibitors, broadly neutralizing antibodies), and treatment simplification with infrequent dosing (e.g. long-acting injectables). In parallel with cART innovations, research and development efforts focused on agents that target persistent HIV reservoirs may lead to prolonged drug-free remission and HIV cure.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-HIV Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-HIV Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / therapeutic use
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
  • Drug Resistance, Viral
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / therapy
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV-1 / drug effects*
  • Humans


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing