3. 3 What is ART?
ART stands for antiretroviral treatment (ART).
This involves a combination of ARVs. HIV meds are called antiretroviral because HIV is a retrovirus.
There are a few other names for ART.
- Combination therapy.
- ARV therapy.
- Triple therapy.
- cART (combination ART) – now rarely used.
- HAART (highly active ART) – now no longer used.
ART often involves only one pill a day. But each pill usually includes three or four drugs.
So missing one pill also means you are missing all these drugs. This is why adherence is so important.
A few combinations only include two drugs. This is because integrase inhibitors are very potent. Integrase inhibitors are the latest type of HIV medicine.
- Dolutegravir/3TC (Dovato).
- Dolutegravir/rilpivirine (Juluca). *
- Cabotegravir LA + rilpivirine LA (long-acting injections).*
* These two-drug ART can only be used once viral load is undetectable.
Other two-drug ART are being developed. For more details see this annual review of the HIV drug pipeline.
Last updated: 1 January 2023.