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Public Health Rep. 1988 May-Jun;103(3):224-9.

Progress in drug therapies for HIV infection.

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Clinical Oncology Program, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892.


The discovery of effective therapies for HIV requires a fundamental knowledge of retroviral infections. Research by the Public Health Service and collaborating organizations on oncogenic viruses, including retroviruses, has provided much of the basic understanding of retroviruses in general and anti-retroviral therapeutic strategies in particular. Early work by the Viral Cancer and Developmental Therapeutic Programs of the National Cancer Institute and the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has contributed much of the current understanding of AIDS and its therapy. This paper describes the progress that has been made in the treatment of AIDS and the programs that have been created to develop future therapies. These programs include efforts to screen existing compounds for activity against HIV, to design new anti-HIV therapies, and to test potential agents in controlled clinical trials. As a result of these activities, researchers have identified one drug, AZT, that has proven effective in prolonging the lives of some patients with AIDS, and are developing several other promising compounds. The key question no longer is whether HIV infection can be treated, but what is the best and fastest way to develop new therapies and improve existing ones.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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