Medicines for HIV and AIDS are used to decrease the amount of HIV in the body and to strengthen the immune system. There are six types of HIV medicines. Commonly three different types of medicines are taken together. This is called combination therapy. It is vital to take them exactly as prescribed to maintain success, and to help to prevent the virus from becoming resistant to the medicines. These medicines are usually taken for life.
Medicines for HIV and AIDS are sometimes called antiretroviral medicines. There are six different types of these medicines available to prescribe in the UK; they include:
Nucleoside or nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors - abacavir, didanosine, emtricitabine, lamivudine, stavudine, and tenofovir.
Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors - efavirenz, etravirine, and nevirapine.