an·​ti·​re·​tro·​vi·​ral | \ -ˈre-trō-ˌvī-rəl How to pronounce antiretroviral (audio) \

Definition of antiretroviral

: acting, used, or effective against retroviruses antiretroviral drugs antiretroviral therapy

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Other Words from antiretroviral

antiretroviral noun

Examples of antiretroviral in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Use of pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP—daily antiretroviral pills taken by uninfected people—during the study years jumped from 2% of the HIV-negative participants to 24%. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "A pill that protects people from HIV may also lead to more sex without condoms," 6 June 2018 Mandela’s government enacted a law that allowed for the importation or local production of generic, antiretroviral drugs. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "It’s Normal for the U.S. to Put Corporate Profits Above Babies’ Health," 10 July 2018 According to the report, only 50% of gay men have ever tested for HIV and out of those infected and in need of antiretroviral drugs, only 9% are currently taking the medication. Suyin Haynes, Time, "Indonesia's Crackdown on LGBT Rights is Fueling an HIV Epidemic, Rights Group Warns," 2 July 2018 The good news is that antiretroviral drugs like PrEP, a daily pill, have reduced the risk of HIV by more than 90 percent. Aaron Randle, kansascity, "'Completely unreasonable': Gay men can donate blood — if they give up sex," 1 July 2018 What percentage of infected people are receiving antiretroviral drugs, which both stave off disease and prevent transmission? Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "Ending AIDS? These three places show the epidemic is far from over," 14 June 2018 Some lost lovers and friends to AIDS, or contracted HIV themselves but take antiretroviral medicines to treat it. Robert Weisman,, "Gay boomers look ahead to an old age colored by uncertainty and the help of friends," 9 June 2018 McKinnon, who is 26, was not alive to see the devastation HIV wrought before the introduction of antiretroviral drugs that control the virus. NBC News, "A side-effect of preventing HIV with PrEP: Less condom use," 6 June 2018 One of the really key measures there was getting antiretroviral HIV drugs, initially two pills, principally to women in Africa. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Kleiner Perkins Chairman John Doerr on Recode Decode," 19 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'antiretroviral.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of antiretroviral

1979, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

29 Apr 2019

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The first known use of antiretroviral was in 1979

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More Definitions for antiretroviral


an·​ti·​ret·​ro·​vi·​ral | \ -ˈre-trō-ˌvī-rəl How to pronounce antiretroviral (audio) \
variants: also anti-retroviral

Medical Definition of antiretroviral

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: acting, used, or effective against retroviruses All four drugs, which inhibit HIV protease and thus interfere with viral maturation and replication, are the most potent antiretroviral agents available to treat patients with HIV disease.The Journal of the American Medical Association, 20 Nov. 1996 antiretroviral therapy — see highly active antiretroviral therapy


variants: also anti-retroviral

Medical Definition of antiretroviral (Entry 2 of 2)

: an agent effective against retroviruses Current anti-HIV drugs, or antiretrovirals, bind to specific HIV enzymes and impede their activity.— Douglas D. Richman, Scientific American, July 1998

Comments on antiretroviral

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to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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