The most prescribed HIV/AIDS treatment is a three-drug combination therapy commonly known as "AIDS cocktail" therapy. This triple cocktail treatment is also sometimes known as highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).
This cocktail consists of three drugs that belong to different families. They include Efavirenez, sold under the brand name Sustiva, and the two drugs that make up the combination pill Combivir. Combivir is a combination of two drugs: Retrovir (300mg) and Epivir (150mg), both of which are Protease Inhibitors and are manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. Sustiva (Efavirenz) is a Non Nucleoside Analog Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb.
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How does the cocktail therapy work?
The researchers discovered that the three drugs which make up the AIDS cocktail work together to address different aspects of the HIV-related problems by:
How does one know if the cocktail therapy is working?
If the therapy is working, then the amount of HIV in the person's blood (called viral load) should go down with time. The viral load is usually measured by blood tests. As the viral load goes down, the person's immune system becomes stronger and the person begins to feel less tired and more energetic.
As HIV mutates rapidly, not all people respond to the cocktail therapy the same way. If the individual is infected with a strain of HIV that is resistant to the combination therapy, then the person notices no improvement in health or energy level. Alternate medicines are prescribed in such cases.