Starting Therapy and Drug Combinations

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is recommended for all human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected individuals to reduce the risk of disease progression.  ART is also recommended for HIV-infected individuals for the prevention of transmission of HIV.  Patients starting ART should be willing and able to commit to treatment and understand the benefits and risks of therapy and the importance of adherence  
Identifying HIV Infection Selecting an ART regimen

2015 Health and Human Services Recommended Initial Combination Regimens


An antiretroviral regimen for a treatment-naive patient generally consists of two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors in combination with a third active antiretroviral drug from one of three drug classes: an integrase strand transfer inhibitor, a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, or a protease inhibitor with a pharmacokinetic enhancer (cobicistat or ritonavir).

Alternative Regimen Options may be the preferred regimen for some patients:

Key to Acronyms: 3TC = lamivudine; ABC = abacavir; ARV = antiretroviral; ATV/c = cobicistat-boosted atazanavir; ATV/r = ritonavir- boosted atazanavir; CrCl = creatinine clearance; DRV/c = cobicistat-boosted darunavir; DRV/r = ritonavir-boosted darunavir; DTG = dolutegravir; EFV = efavirenz; EVG/c/TDF/FTC = elvitegravir/cobicistat/tenofovir DF/emtricitabine; FTC = emtricitabine; INSTI = integrase strand transfer inhibitor; LPV/r = ritonavir-boosted lopinavir; NNRTI = non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor; NRTI = nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor; PI = protease inhibitor; RAL = raltegravir; RPV = rilpivirine; RTV = ritonavir; TDF = tenofovir disoproxil fumarate


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