Other treatment approaches

In addition to antiretroviral drugs that directly target the virus, there are several other potential approaches to treating HIV, including inhibition of cellular factors that play a role in HIV replication, destruction of HIV-infected cells, and various forms of gene therapy. People with HIV have also tried a wide variety of complementary therapies, including nutritional supplements.

Some unconventional strategies were proposed early in the epidemic, before the advent of effective combination antiretroviral therapy. At that time, people with HIV/AIDS had few treatment options and were often willing to gamble on long-shot therapies. For example, there were attempts to kill HIV directly by heating the blood or administering ozone; these therapies have not demonstrated clear benefits and may, in fact, be harmful.

At this time, most of the approaches discussed below are experimental. Some are purely theoretical, supported by basic laboratory research but untested in humans. While combination antiretroviral therapy will likely remain a mainstay of HIV treatment for the foreseeable future, researchers continue to explore new avenues that one day may allow for HIV eradication and more complete immune restoration.

Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.