HIV Pharmacology: Barriers to the Eradication of HIV from the CNS

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Total eradication of HIV-1 is not yet achievable, in part because reservoirs of latent HIV-1 can develop within lymphoid tissue, the testes, and the central nervous system (CNS). The presence of HIV-1 in the CNS is clinically significant because of its association with the development of HIV dementia, which occurs in up to one fifth of untreated patients. This review summarizes current theory regarding HIV-1 infection within the CNS, describes physiologic and pharmacologic factors limiting CNS penetration of antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV-1 infection, and reviews current treatment of CNS HIV-1 infection and HIV encephalopathy.

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