Therapy for treatment of HIV-1 infection involves combinations of antiviral drugs aimed at RT and PR, which function at different stages of the virus life cycle (Fig. 1).2 RT activity is crucial for synthesis of the double-stranded DNA form of HIV-1, so RT inhibitors act at an early stage of the virus life cycle following infection of target cells (Fig. 1, step 2). PR activity is essential for virion maturation, which occurs late in the virus life cycle as virions bud from the surface of infected cells (Fig. 1, step 1).3Virus particles are formed in the presence of PR inhibitors, but infectivity of new cells is drastically reduced if PR activity is blocked.4
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