Abacavir (Ziagen)

Abacavir is an anti-HIV drug that reduces the amount of virus in the body. Anti-HIV drugs such as abacavir slow down or prevent damage to the immune system and reduce the risk of developing AIDS-related illnesses.

Abacavir belongs to a class of drugs known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). When HIV infects a cell, the enzyme reverse transcriptase copies the viral single-stranded RNA genome into double-stranded viral DNA. This viral DNA is then integrated into the CD4 chromosomal DNA and can go on to reproduce in the body. Four natural nucleosides complete the DNA synthesis: adenosine, cytidine, guanosine, and thymidine. An NRTI drug substitutes a defective version of one of the nucleosides, causing premature termination of the proviral DNA chain.

In July 1999, abacavir was approved by the European Union licensing body for use in combination with other anti-HIV drugs. The drug was licensed in the United States in December 1998. Once-daily abacavir was also approved in the European Union in November 2004.

Abacavir was previously known by the codename 1592U89 and has been registered under the trade name Ziagen. It is made by ViiV Healthcare, the company that also produces zidovudine (AZT, Retrovir), lamivudine, (3TC, Epivir) and dolutegravir (Tivicay).

Abacavir is also available as part of the following combinations:

Kivexa (600mg abacavir combined with 300mg lamivudine). See Kivexa for further details. Also marketed as Epzicom in the United States. Generic versions of this product are available.

Triumeq (600mg abacavir combined with 300mg lamivudine and 50mg dolutegravir). See Triumeq for further details.

Trizivir, a pill that combines 300mg abacavir, 150mg lamivudine and 300mg zidovudine is also available from ViiV Healthcare. It was approved in the United States in November 2000 and in the European Union in March 2001. Trizivir is no longer recommended for use as first-line treatment.

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
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