There are different chemical compounds that are used as antivirals

  1. Antiviral drugs are used to treat infections caused by viruses other than HIV
  2. Antiretroviral drugs are used to treat infections caused by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS
  3. A good antiviral agent must selectively target the virus replication cycle while leaving the host cell unaffected

Key characteristics of antiviral drugs

  • Able to enter the cells infected with a virus
  • Interfere with viral nucleic acid synthesis and/or regulation
  • Some drugs interfere with the ability of viruses to bind to cells
  • Some drugs stimulate the body’s immune system
  • Best responses to antiviral drugs are in patients with competent immune systems
  • A healthy immune system works synergistically with the drug to eliminate or suppress viral activity

The strategies for developing antivirals are based on the virus replication cycle

A. Targets for antivirals


B. Targets for HIV