Use of antiretrovirals for treatment and prevention of HIV infection

WHO/Gary Hampton

Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) has changed the outlook of HIV / AIDS from a virtual death sentence few years ago to a chronic manageable disease. Earlier known as Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART), Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is basically use of combination of at least three antiretroviral drugs from two different groups to inhibit the replication of HIV thereby delaying the progression of HIV disease and restoration of immunological functions leading to significant reduction in morbidity as well as mortality. With the wide spread availability of affordable, more efficacious and less toxic ARV drug regimen, there has been a rapid decline in HIV related mortality and morbidity. The reduction of viral load also reduces the chances of transmission from infected person thereby having a prevention benefit as well.

The World Health Organization has been providing technical assistance to National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, right from inception of its ART initiative in April 2004. WHO is also supporting India in implementing the 2013 WHO ART guidelines and improving the quality of HIV care through trainings on early warning indicator for HIV drug resistance and selected Quality of Care Indicators