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Role of antivirals in current pharmacotherapy is summarized; viruses that can be medically suppressed are listed.Current bioanalytical methods are presented.Mechanisms of action and therapeutic use of antivirals against herpes viruses and respiratory viruses are outlined.Analytical methods for analysis of antivirals published in the period of 2000–2017 are reviewed.Individual steps of the bioanalytical methods, i.e. sample preparation, separation, and detection are discussed for each class.This review article is the first in the series providing an overview of currently used antiviral drugs and presenting contemporary approaches to their analysis. Large number of available antivirals and their structural variability makes this task very challenging. Trying to cover this topic comprehensively while maintaining reasonable size of the article, the review is presented in two parts. For the purpose of the overall review, antivirals were divided into four groups: (i) antivirals against herpes viruses, (ii) antivirals against respiratory viruses, (iii) antivirals against hepatitis viruses, and (iv) antivirals against HIV. Part one is devoted to the groups (i) and (ii) and also concerns the key features of the bioanalytical method.The mechanisms of action of antivirals against respiratory and herpes viruses and their use in clinical practice are briefly outlined, and the analytical methods for selected representatives of each class are described in more detail. The methods developed for the determination of drugs from these classes mostly include conventional procedures. In contrast, current trends such as UHPLC are used rarely and proper method validation based on requirements of bioanalytical guidelines can be often considered insufficient.