n Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine - From the editor




Zidovudine was approved for use as an antiretroviral agent in 1987. It was used, at that time, as a single agent to treat patients with HIV infection. The therapeutic effect of this monotherapy was, however, of short duration due to the rapid development of viral resistance to the drug. Subsequently the use of two drugs (dual therapies) became the standard of care. Their antiretroviral effect was more pronounced and of a longer duration, but regrettably viral resistance once again limited the therapeutic effects. Following the International AIDS Conference in Vancouver in 1996 triple combination therapies (HAART) were endorsed and proved to be effective in the majority of patients treated, as evidenced by profound and durable suppression of viral loads and an impressive rise in CD4 counts.


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