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 During the global response to the HIV pandemic, the research efforts that produced the first effective antiretroviral therapies also advanced the state of knowledge around everything from the common flu to hepatitis C, which is now curable. Alexander Zaitchik, The New Republic, "The Forever Disease: How Covid-19 Became a Chronic Condition," 2 Feb. 2021 Every year, the United States alone provides more than $970 million to Uganda, supporting the military, the education and agricultural sectors, and antiretroviral treatment for almost a million H.I.V.-positive Ugandans. New York Times, "The West’s Patience With Uganda’s Strongman Wanes After a Bloody Election," 30 Jan. 2021 Yet Corey says monoclonals may find a role in HIV prevention for people who are reluctant to take antiretroviral therapy. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "Labmade antibodies can prevent HIV infection—but only if they match the virus," 26 Jan. 2021 The researchers found that the annual price of antiretroviral therapy then ranged from $24,970 to $35,160. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "The FDA Just Approved the First Long-Acting HIV Treatment," 22 Jan. 2021 Although antiretroviral drugs have made HIV a manageable infection since the late 1990s, the virus continues to exact a devastating toll, particularly in developing countries. Jonathan Saltzman,, "Beth Israel researcher awaits approval of the COVID-19 vaccine he helped create," 16 Jan. 2021 India as a country got into trouble, politically and internationally, from breaking patents on drugs for antiretroviral therapies for H.I.V. New York Times, "People Are Dying. Who Do We Save First With the Vaccine?," 24 Dec. 2020 However, being immunocompromised—as can happen to some people with HIV, like those who don’t have access to antiretroviral therapy—can leave a person more vulnerable to severe COVID-19 complications. Mathew Rodriguez, SELF, "Jonathan Van Ness on Vulnerability Hangovers, Dating With Intention, and Living With HIV in a Pandemic," 1 Dec. 2020 As of the end of June 2020, 26 million people had access to antiretroviral therapy. David Oliver, USA TODAY, "Jonathan Van Ness shares powerful statement on World AIDS Day: 'So much work left to be done'," 1 Dec. 2020

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

14 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Antiretroviral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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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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