For the last 22 years, HIV treatment has developed from monotherapy to multiple drug regiments. Different approaches for optimizing treatment for the HIV-positive patient have been tried out. This review describes the development of HIV therapy, and shows the efficiency of different drug regimens and how different treatment strategies have influenced disease development.
The text is based on information found through a systematic search for articles in PubMed, Cochrane Library, New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet and British Medical Journal.
Different drugs and drug strategies for treatment of HIV infection have emerged through the last 22 years. Due to an improved insight and understanding of the patophysiology of the HIV-infection and properties of the HIV virus, the effectiveness of treatment has changed dramatically in reducing clinical manifestations and increasing long-time survival.
HIV-treatment has since the introduction of HAART been safe and effective for most HIV-positive patients. Still there are many challenges in this field. Treatment failure often associated with viral resistance is still occurring, due to failing compliance and also several other factors. Complete eradication of the virus is not possible with available drug treatments. Side effects and drug interactions may still represent a serious problem. Novel treatment strategies and development of new classes of antiretroviral drugs will hopefully contribute to safer and more efficient regimens in the future.