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

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Other Words from antiretroviral

antiretroviral noun

Examples of antiretroviral in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In a search for treatments, Beijing city health authorities have begun experimenting with antiretroviral medication lopinavir, used to treat HIV, Xinhua reported Sunday. Josh Chin, WSJ, "China Urges Calm Over Virus During ‘Critical Period’," 26 Jan. 2020 Evaluations of local antiretroviral treatment rollouts backed by PEPFAR (but not solely by PEPFAR) have been promising. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Trump signed a good law this week. Yes, really.," 12 Dec. 2018 South Sudan’s five-year civil war is quietly creating another kind of victim: those prevented from getting life-saving antiretroviral medicine. Washington Post, "South Sudan’s quiet victims of war: With HIV, without help," 24 May 2018 Experiments conducted in Kenya showed that weekly text messages to patients with HIV on antiretroviral therapy increased their chances of taking their medication every day. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, "Some toddlers are chronically absent from preschool. A text message can help," 13 Jan. 2020 Among our many efforts to achieve the durable control of HIV without daily antiretroviral therapy (ART), a once-monthly, injectable combination HIV treatment (cabotegravir + rilpivirine) likely will reach the clinic for general use. Stat Staff, STAT, "What will 2020 bring for medicine and science? We asked 16 leaders for predictions," 30 Dec. 2019 And in a cruel irony, antiretroviral therapies—first introduced in Zambia in 2004 and responsible for sharply reducing HIV deaths—can also lead to stroke. Oliver Staley, Quartz Africa, "Zambia has 17 million people, a stroke epidemic, and no neurologists," 30 Dec. 2019 These include long-acting antiretroviral drugs (dosed orally, by injection, or as a small implant); infusions or injections of long-acting bNAbs; and topically applied products for rectal and vaginal use. Stat Staff, STAT, "What will 2020 bring for medicine and science? We asked 16 leaders for predictions," 30 Dec. 2019 Published materials clearly show that, well before HHS claims to have invented the concepts of PrEP and PEP in 2006, others had conceived of using an antiretroviral therapy, including Truvada, for both forms of prophylaxis. Ed Silverman, STAT, "HHS sues Gilead for refusing to reach a licensing deal over patents for HIV prevention pills," 7 Nov. 2019

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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The first known use of antiretroviral was in 1979

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Last Updated

4 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Antiretroviral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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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

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