Background: Human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) infection leads to acquired
immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), a severe viral infection that has claimed approximately
658,507 lives in the US between the years 2010-2014. Antiretroviral (ARV) therapy has proven to
inhibit HIV-1, but unlike other viral illness, not cure the infection.
Objective: Among various Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved ARVs, nucleoside/
nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) are most effective in limiting HIV-1 infection.
This review focuses on NRTIs mechanism of action and metabolism.
Methods: A search of PubMed (1982-2016) was performed to capture relevant articles regarding
Results: The current classical NRTIs pharmacology for HIV-1 prevention and treatment are presented.
Finally, various novel strategies are proposed to improve the efficacy of NRTIs, which will
increase therapeutic efficiency of present-day HIV-1 prevention/treatment regimen.
Conclusion: Use of NRTIs will continue to be critical for successful treatment and prevention of