Integrase Inhibitors

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Also known as Integrase Strand Transfer Inhibitors (INSTIs)

Integrase Inhibitors prevent HIV from inserting (integrating) its genetic material into host cell chromosomes (DNA). This is only one step in the process of HIV invasion and replication in the host human immune cells, so integrase inhibitors are used in combination with other HIV antiretroviral treatments (and their function is to block other steps in case HIV is able to get around this step). Integrase inhibitors do not interfere with known human cellular processes (they interrupt the HIV virus process) and so this class of drugs has few toxicities or side effects. INSTs are the fifth (5th) class of HIV drugs to emerge since the advent of HAART combination treatment in 1996, which initially comprised nukes, non-nukes, and protease inhibitors, then entry/attachment inhibitors…Then came Integrase Inhibitors, to block the integration step of the HIV virus replication lifecycle.