Types of HIV drugs

Different classes, of antiretroviral drugs target different stages of the HIV life-cycle. Two of the approved types of drugs – nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) and nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NtRTIs) (usually considered as a single class) and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) – interfere with the action of HIV’s reverse transcriptase enzyme. Drugs in the protease inhibitor class block the action of the protease enzyme.

HIV entry inhibitors work in various ways. There is one approved HIV fusion inhibitor and one approved CCR5 antagonist, but other types of entry inhibitors are under development. The first integrase inhibitor was licensed in 2007 and agents that target other steps of the HIV life-cycle are further back in the drug development pipeline.

For a summary of currently approved antiretroviral drugs licensed in the European Union, see the antiretroviral drug chart.

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 It may have been superseded by more recent developments.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.