HIV/AIDS Antiretroviral Drugs Classification

There are seven major types of drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS. Called antiretrovirals (ART) because they act against the retrovirus HIV, these drugs are grouped by how they interfere with steps in HIV replication.

1. Entry Inhibitors interfere with the virus' ability to bind to receptors on the outer surface of the cell it tries to enter. When receptor binding fails, HIV cannot infect the cell.
  • Maraviroc (MVC). Brand name : Selzentry 
2. Fusion Inhibitors interfere with the virus’s ability to fuse with a cellular membrane, preventing HIV from entering a cell. • Enfuvirtide (T-20). Brand name : Fuzeon

3. Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors prevent the HIV enzyme reverse transcriptase (RT) from converting single-stranded HIV RNA into double-stranded HIV DNA―a process called reverse transcription. There are two types of RT inhibitors:

Nucleoside/nucleotide RT inhibitors (NRTIs) are faulty DNA building blocks. When one of these faulty building blocks is added to a growing HIV DNA chain, no further correct DNA building blocks can be added on, halting HIV DNA synthesis.
  • Abacavir (abacavir sulfate, ABC). Brand name : Ziagen 
  • Didanosine (delayed-release didanosine, dideoxyinosine, enteric-coated didanosine, ddI, ddI EC). Brand name : Videx, Videx EC (Enteric Coated) 
  • Emtricitabine (FTC). Brand name : Emtriva 
  • Lamivudine (3TC). Brand name : Epivir 
  • Stavudine (d4T). Brand name : Zerit 
  • Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. Brand name : Viread 
  • Zidovudine (azidothymidine, AZT, ZDV). Brand name : Retrovir 
Non-nucleoside RT inhibitors (NNRTIs) bind to RT, interfering with its ability to convert HIV RNA into HIV DNA
  • Delavirdine (delavirdine mesylate, DLV). Brand name : Rescriptor 
  • Efavirenz (EFV). Brand name : Sustiva 
  • Etravirine (ETR). Brand name : Intelence 
  • Nevirapine (extended-release nevirapine, NVP). Brand name : Viramune, Viramune XR (extended release) 
  • Rilpirivine (rilpivirine hydrochloride, RPV). Brand name : Edurant