Until recently, reverse transcriptase inhibitors have been the mainstay for treating HIV infection. Now, three protease inhibitors have been approved. Early evidence suggests that triple therapy delays the progression of HIV infection. An understanding of these new drugs and treatment strategies is imperative for clinicians. This article (1) reviews HIV's structure and replication process, (2) discusses currently approved reverse transcriptase and protease inhibitors, (3) describes the antiretroviral drugs" modes of action, (4) discusses important nursing implications for monitoring clients on these drugs, and (5) presents current scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of combination therapy strategies.
Phillips, K. D. (1996). Protease inhibitors: A new weapon and a new strategy against HIV. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 7(5), 57-71.