Selenium in the maintenance and therapy of HIV-infected patients

Chem Biol Interact. 1994 Jun;91(2-3):199-205. doi: 10.1016/0009-2797(94)90040-x.


Due to its antiviral effects and its importance for all immunological functions, the administration of selenium is suggested as a supportive measure in early as well as in advanced stages of HIV-induced disease. Initial observations on the effects of selenium supplementation in HIV-infected patients indicate that selenium causes symptomatic improvements and possibly slows the course of the disease. As selenium inhibits reverse transcriptase activity in RNA-virus-infected animals, supplemental selenium could also prevent the replication of HIV and retard the development of AIDS in newly HIV-infected subjects. An adequate supply of selenium and of antioxidant vitamins is also proposed as a measure to reduce the probability of the placental transmission of HIV in pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Complex / drug therapy
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • HIV / drug effects*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Infections / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / drug therapy
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
  • Selenium / pharmacology
  • Selenium / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use


  • Antioxidants
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
  • Vitamins
  • Selenium