Soon after HIV was first identified as the cause of AIDS in the early 1980s, it became clear that antiretroviral treatments were needed to prevent the development of opportunistic infections and malignancies that were often fatal. Over the next decade into the 1990s, several therapies rapidly became available, including zidovudine and protease inhibitors such as saquinavir and indinavir. As these medications were developed, investigators learned that combinations of these drugs were needed to successfully inhibit viral replication, prevent resistance from developing, and extend life expectancy.
Riddell J. 2018 IAS-USA Recommendations for the Use of Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV: Building on Decades of Progress. JAMA. 2018;320(4):347–349. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.9184
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