The theoretical basis and practice of highly active antiretroviral therapy of the HIV disease are reviewed. This successful treatment for HIV patients using combined administration of antiretroviral drugs was introduced in 1995-1996 on the basis of the following dramatic scientific and technological developments: a new paradigm on the rapid turnover of the virus in the HIV infected patients was described first in 1995 and supported by several data until now; several new drugs belonging to the three major groups of antiretroviral agents (nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, protease inhibitors, non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors) were produced by different pharmaceutical companies and found to be highly effective in clinical trials when they were used in triple combinations; new sensitive assays allowing to measure HIV-1 RNA levels in the plasma of patients were worked out; HIV-1 RNA plasma concentration (viral load) was found to predict the progression of HIV disease and the extent of its decrease after the initiation of highly active antiretroviral therapy was demonstrated to correlate with the clinical efficiency of the therapy. On the basis of experiences obtained in the sole AIDS ward in Hungary (Stent Laszlo Hospital) and literature data, the optimal time for starting HAART its optimal form, the crucial importance of the compliance of the patients, and the so-called rescue treatment are discussed. The efficacy of highly active antiretroviral therapy used in the Stent Laszlo Hospital are identical to those obtained in the large clinical trials performed abroad. 24 patients were reverted from the phase of severe life-threatening immunodeficiency to a better immune status and a better quality of life.
|Translated title of the contribution||The treatment of HIV disease with antiretroviral drugs: Successes and expected difficulties|
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Lege Artis Medicinae|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 3 1998|
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