Present status and future prospects for HIV therapies

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Science  28 May 1993:
Vol. 260, Issue 5112, pp. 1286-1293
DOI: 10.1126/science.7684163


Since the discovery of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in 1983, significant progress has been made toward the discovery, development, and licensing of anti-HIV drugs. In vitro screens against whole virus are now being complemented by screens against specific viral targets, resulting in the development of clinical candidates acting at several critical stages of the viral life cycle. Despite these advances, clinical therapy remains largely palliative. In addition, it has recently been recognized that HIV resistance to most drugs may pose even greater obstacles. Moreover, emerging data on immunopathogenesis raise the possibility that even if virus was eliminated from an infected individual, the patient's immune system might not be capable of restoration to normal function. In the face of such obstacles, deeper insights into the pathogenic mechanisms of disease, aggressive exploitation of those mechanisms for therapeutic gain, and continued commitment of both public and private sectors to support and collaborate in this research are needed.