HIV: Treatment Approach to a Unique and Elusive Virus
Taylor, Mark R.
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Over the last twenty-five years, HIV-1 has circled the globe as a pandemic affecting millions of people. HIV-1 has unique and elusive biochemical properties. It is unique in that it uses immune system cells to infiltrate the body. It is elusive in that it reproduces at an astounding rate with large numbers of mutant strains evolving constantly. Given these characteristics, one would expect rapid development of resistance to antiretroviral treatments. This has occurred in the United States. In Africa, generalized epidemics account for 22 million carriers of HIV-1 with a multitude of genetic variants. The anticipated result of HAART rollout is that current drugs become obsolete as viral resistance quickly develops. This has not been the case according to recent studies following the efficacy of HAART implementation in Botswana, South Africa, and Tanzania. Further studies must continue to track HIV-1 subtype proliferation and the development of resistance to HAART protocols.