Anti-retroviral therapy

Synonyms: ART

Medical Specialties: Allergy/immunology, Family practice, Internal medicine


Clinical Definition

Anti-retroviral therapy, or ART, is treatment with drugs that hamper the ability of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or other types of retroviruses to replicate in the body. Combining several ART drugs, known as highly active ART or HAART, can reduce viral particles in the blood. 


In Our Own Words

Anti-retroviral therapy or ART is the use of drugs that hamper the ability of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS, or other types of viruses also known as retroviruses, to replicate in the body.

 

Combining several ART drugs, an approach known as HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy) has been effective in decreasing the number of HIV particles in the blood, called plasma viral load. Research suggests those who are infected with HIV who have undetectable viral loads are less infectious.  

Side Effects
  • Collection of back fat and abdominal fat
  • Diarrhea
  • Sick feeling
  • Nausea or weakness
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sources
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Effect of Antiretroviral Therapy on Risk of Sexual Transmission of HIV Infection and Superinfection." HIV Prevention. April 2013. http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/prevention/research/art/. Accessed November 2013.
  • University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center. "Dictionary of Cancer Terms." 2011.
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