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

Definition of antiretroviral

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

Other Words from antiretroviral

antiretroviral noun

Examples of antiretroviral in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 1997, at the height of the AIDS pandemic, a similar situation occurred with antiretroviral medications. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, 19 Apr. 2022 The patient opted to discontinue antiretroviral therapy 37 months after the transplant. New York Times, 15 Feb. 2022 The tides began to turn in 1987 when the first treatment, azidothymidine (AZT) garnered approval as the first of dozens of antiretroviral treatments now available. Dr. Divya Chhabra And Sony Salzman, ABC News, 5 June 2021 But compared with its devastating impacts in the 1980s and '90s, HIV is now largely a chronic disease in the U.S., managed with antiretroviral therapy that can suppress the virus to undetectable — and non-transmissible — levels. Sarah Varney, CNN, 28 Feb. 2022 Pfizer's pill is a combination of nirmatrelvir, a new antiviral medication, and ritonavir, an antiretroviral medication that's currently used to treat HIV/AIDS. Korin Miller,, 14 Dec. 2021 Most people would say it’s a pretty odd coincidence that my celibacy lasted from the widespread arrival of the virus to the arrival of widespread antiretroviral medication. David Marchese, New York Times, 2 May 2021 Powerful antiretroviral drugs can control H.I.V., but a cure is key to ending the decades-old pandemic. New York Times, 15 Feb. 2022 Jensen told NBC News this man has still not experienced a viral rebound three years after being taken off his antiretroviral treatment. Benjamin Ryan, NBC News, 15 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of antiretroviral

1979, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of antiretroviral was in 1979

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Last Updated

2 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Antiretroviral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2022.

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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 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


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