an·​ti·​re·​tro·​vi·​ral ˌan-tē-ˈre-trō-ˌvī-rəl How to pronounce antiretroviral (audio)
: acting, used, or effective against retroviruses
antiretroviral drugs
antiretroviral therapy
antiretroviral noun

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Lenacapavir is an antiretroviral drug, which works by stopping the virus from replicating to keep HIV levels in the body very low. Nada Hassanein, USA TODAY, 30 Dec. 2022 On March 19, 1987, the Food and Drug Administration approved an antiretroviral drug known as AZT to treat HIV infection. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, 5 June 2021 The good science in this case is the fact that there are very effective antiretroviral drug out there, which make HIV/AIDS a treatable disorder. Chris Mooney, Discover Magazine, 3 May 2011 He’s been unhoused since 2012 and struggled to maintain his antiretroviral therapy while living in homeless shelters or on the street. Hadley Green, Washington Post, 2 Dec. 2022 Undetectability is achieved and maintained by taking a daily pill of HIV antiretroviral therapy. Jordan Gonsalves, Time, 1 Dec. 2022 These regimens, which are a combination of different medicines, are more commonly referred to as an antiretroviral treatment, or ART. Emily Rekstis, Allure, 26 Oct. 2022 Skin rashes are a common possible side effect in many medications used in antiretroviral therapy. Emily Rekstis, Allure, 26 Oct. 2022 Their work influenced guidelines on when to initiate antiretroviral therapy in people with HIV, for example. Byscience News Staff,, 13 Oct. 2022 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.

Word History

First Known Use

1979, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of antiretroviral was in 1979

Dictionary Entries Near antiretroviral

Cite this Entry

“Antiretroviral.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

Medical Definition


1 of 2 adjective
an·​ti·​ret·​ro·​vi·​ral -ˈre-trō-ˌvī-rəl How to pronounce antiretroviral (audio)
variants also anti-retroviral
: 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


2 of 2 noun
variants also anti-retroviral
: 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
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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