Guides

Main types of HIV drugs

There are six main types (or classes) of drugs that work at different parts of the HIV life cycle.

Table 1: Main types of HIV drugs
Abbreviation Full name(s)
NRTIs/NtRTIs (“nukes”) nucleoside/tide reverse transcriptase inhibitors or nucleoside/tide analogues
NNRTIs
(“non-nukes”)
non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors
PIs protease inhibitors
INIs (or INSTIs) integrase (strand transfer) inhibitors
CCR5 inhibitors CCR5 inhibitors are a type of entry inhibitor
mAbs monoclonal antibodies – which also block entry to the CD4 cell
Fusion inhibitors fusion inhibitors are a type of entry inhibitor

There are more than 30 HIV drugs and formulations. Luckily, only a few combinations are commonly used.

See also: Figure 5: HIV life cycle – how drugs work in different ways.

Last updated: 1 October 2019.