Since 1996, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) was designed to rapidly control HIV replication. It has had a significant impact on patient health and progression of AIDS in developed countries, but its success has not been complete. HAART strategy still suffers from issues of patient compliance, cost, deleterious side effects and emerging drug resistance. Therefore, expansion of novel anti-HIV drugs and targets will be critical in the coming years. In this context, discovering anti-HIV agents from natural sources and particularly from plants, may highlight the principle of a nutritional antioxidant antiretroviral diet. In this paper, we review the putative anti-HIV activity of simple caffeic acid derivatives, together with their antioxidant properties. Toxicity, metabolism and bioavailability, when known, will also be detailed. Wellknown caffeic acid derivatives, such as chicoric, rosmarinic and lithospermic acids, may be designed as future leads multitarget anti-HIV compounds and the plants and vegetables containing them as potent nutritional therapeutic supplementation source. They are not expected to replace the actual antiretroviral therapy, but more likely, to complete and perhaps lighten it by adapted diet.
Keywords: aids, hiv, natural antioxidants, caffeic acid derivatives, oxidative stress, antiviral supplementation