HIV AIDS Medicine

What are HIV and AIDs?

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. This is a virus in the group of viruses called retroviruses. HIV destroys cells in the body called CD4 T cells. CD4 T cells are a type of white blood cell (lymphocyte). These are important cells that protect the body against various bacteria, viruses and other germs. HIV actually multiplies within CD4 cells. HIV cannot be destroyed by white blood cells, as it keeps on changing its outer coat, so protecting it.

AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. This is a term which covers the range of infections and illnesses which can result from a weakened immune system caused by HIV.


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. many more

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