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HAART resistance genotyping

Related Terms

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Background

  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV): HIV is a retrovirus that causes AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome), a disease of the human immune system. Retroviruses are a group of viruses that contain ribonucleic acid (RNA) and replicate by reverse transcription. Reverse transcription is the process of producing a double-stranded deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from a single-stranded RNA.
  • The retrovirus primarily attacks the body's immune system, making the body extremely vulnerable to opportunistic infections. Opportunistic infections are infections that occur in people with weak immune systems (and generally do not occur in healthy people). Examples of such infections include toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, and Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (formerly called Pneumocystis carinii or PCP).
  • HIV-1 and HIV-2 are the two known strains of HIV. The HIV-1 virus is highly infectious (virulent), relatively easily transmitted, and is the cause of most HIV infections globally. HIV-2 is less easily transmitted and is largely confined to West Africa.
  • Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART): HAART refers to the combination of multiple antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV-positive patients. Antiretroviral drugs inhibit the ability of HIV or other types of retroviruses to multiply in the body. Some of the classes of antiretroviral drugs include reverse transcriptase inhibitors, protease inhibitors, and integrase inhibitors. Reverse transcriptase inhibitors are drugs that inhibit the enzyme reverse transcriptase, which is required for the reverse transcription process. Reverse transcriptase inhibitors include zidovudine, tenofovir, and efavirenz. Protease inhibitors are drugs that inhibit the viral protease, an enzyme that HIV uses to produce infectious viral particles. When protease is blocked, new copies of HIV are not formed properly, and they are unable to infect new cells. Examples of protease inhibitors include saquinavir, ritonavir, and indinavir.
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Methods

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Research

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Implications

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Limitations

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Safety

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Future Research

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.