2. Protease inhibitors
Protease inhibitors (or PIs) prevent HIV from replicating protease, a type of protein that HIV needs to replicate. You may hear specific PIs referred to by their medical names, such as atazanavir, fosamprenavir, lopinavir, and ritonavir. Although side effects may differ from patient to patient, a combination of nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, chronic cough, insomnia, fatigue, and joint pain may be reported.
3. Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (or NRTIs) are usually taken in combination and adjusted as the disease progresses to help slow down and prevent the virus from replicating. Common NRTIs include names such as drugs including Ziagen, Retrovir, Epivir, ZDV, TDF, or AZT (which are abacavirs, zidovudines, tenofovirs, and lamivudines). Unpleasant side effects can result from taking NRTIs, including fever, rash, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
4. Highly active antiretroviral therapy
Highly active antiretroviral therapy (or HAART) is often called the anti-HIV cocktail. HAART therapy combines several drugs (usually about 3 different types of PIs, NRTIs, etc.) in hopes of slowing down the progression of HIV virus replication and spread in the body.
5. Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors
Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (or NNRTIs) are drugs that block the infection of new cells by HIV. By doing so, they prevent the spread and progression of the virus. NNRTI drugs are prescribed under names such as Sustiva, Intelence and Viramune, and Rescriptor. Tragically, HIV-positive patients who take NNRTIs often develop shortness of breath and abnormal heartbeats over time.