Medical providers around the world continue to get closer to a cure for HIV. As a cure becomes more and more attainable, HIV medications are now able to control the virus’s growth, stop or slow symptoms and prevent the transmission of HIV. HIV treatment is called antiretroviral therapy (ART), and typically consists of three to six types of HIV medications that are taken in the form of one or two pills.
Classes of HIV Medication
Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs). This type of medication blocks enzymes that the virus needs to make copies of itself. Instead of making the actual version, it begins to make faulty versions that prevent the growth. When this HIV drug is taken, the level of HIV in your body will decrease. Some common NRTI brands include Ziagen, Emtriva and Zerit.
Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NNRTIs). Similar to NRTIs, this type of HIV medication binds to the enzyme in order to reverse the virus’s ability to copy. This drug class will lower the level of HIV in your blood and allow your immune system to recover. Three common types of this drug include Pifeltro, Sustiva and Intelence.
Protease Inhibitors (PIs). Another enzyme, protease, is needed for the HIV to multiply. This HIV drug blocks protease from being released and therefore the virus cannot make copies of itself. The most common PTI’s include Reyataz, Prezista and Lexiva.
Fusion Inhibitors. CD4 cells play an important role in keeping your immune system healthy, which is why people living with HIV are more prone to illness and disease. Fusion inhibitors block the HIV from entering the cells leading to a stronger immune system. Your doctor may prescribe a fusion inhibitor such as Fuzeon.
Post-Attachment Inhibitors. This is another type of HIV medication that prevents viruses from attacking the CD4 cells. Rather than blocking the virus from entering, it blocks the entire receptor. A medical provider can prescribe you Trogarzo for this type of treatment.
Pharmacokinetic Enhancers. The final class of HIV drugs are used to increase the effectiveness of HIV medications. Since different HIV medications can be combined into one pill or multiple, it ensures that they are both working effectively.
Talking to your medical provider about which HIV medications are right for you is the first step toward living the life you deserve. Contact us today to find out if you are eligible to receive free help within central Pennsylvania from leading medical providers.