After a significant amount of HIV infections become resistant to antiretroviral drugs, new antiretroviral drugs operate outside infected cells. Their mechanism of action consists in inhibiting entry of the virus into cells, thereby halting the very first step of HIV replication. Examples of this new class of drugs include entry inhibitors, coreceptor antagonists, and fusion inhibitors. In addition to their novel mechanism of action, this new class of drugs also has potential action against drug-resistant HIV strains, causes minimal adverse effects, and may be administered in a simplified, once-daily dosing regimen. New classes of anti-HIV drugs—and new drugs in existing classes—represent the best hope for people infected with HIV, especially those who have exhausted current therapies.
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