What drugs are used for antiretroviral therapy?

The first line choice of antiretroviral treatment with highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in South Africa is a combination of:

  1. Two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (‘nucs’), usually stavudine (d4T) and lamivudine (3TC)
  2. One protease inhibitor in younger children, usually Kaletra (lopinavir with ritonavir), or one non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (‘non-nuc’) in older children, usually nevirapine or efavirenz

If there are serious side effects to one or more drugs, or if the patient fails to respond, a second line of treatment with a different combination of drugs will be necessary. These decisions will be made at an infectious disease clinic.

Highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is given with a combination of 3 drugs.

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