A considerable progress has been made in recent years in the field of drug development against HIV. However, the current cost of AIDS drugs is the main obstacle that prevents their use in developing countries, where 95% of HIVinfected patients reside. The average yearly price of AIDS therapy and related health care of affected patients in the USA runs as high as $22,000 - an amount that corresponds to the combined income of as many as one hundred individuals in developing countries. Even in the USA, patients without medical insurance cannot afford the costly therapy. From the beginning it was clear that the most feasible and economic means of finding a solution is to identify anti-HIV drugs among already available and preferably over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, which have historically been used for unrelated clinical purposes. This review summarizes the development and discovery of affordable and potentially promising AIDS drugs. The anti-HIV activity of drugs and immunomodulating substances such as warfarin, cimetidine, levamisole, acetaminophen, gramicidin, and V-1 immunitor are described and discussed in relation to their clinical application. These compounds may be used in a cocktail drug combination.